Critical explorations on space, spatialities and socio-techological assemblages @ Geography and Technology Conference

The DIGGEO@ESOMAS lab launched a call for abstract for a session dedicated to “Digital participation in urban governance. Advancing critical explorations on space, spatialities and socio-technological assemblages” during the workshop on Geography and Technology organised by the Società di Studi Geografici. The worshop will take place at the Università di Pisa, Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere, Pisa on the 30th of June-1st of July. Italian is the official language but contributes in english are accepted. Details for application below (deadline 30th of April 2022):

Digital participation in urban governance.
Advancing critical explorations on space, spatialities and socio-technological assemblages

proponent and chairs: Samantha Cenere, Chiara Certomà, Fabio Iapaolo, Paolo Giaccaria

Digitalisation is having a major impact on contemporary cities, which serve as testing beds for the implementation of a broad array of digital, participatory and social innovation-oriented processes (often labelled as Digital Social Innovation, Civic Tech, Social Tech or similar). From enabling citizens’ participation in decision-making processes to providing new services or harnessing people’s co-creative potential in planning, digital participation initiatives are proliferating and transforming the physical and organisational structure of the city together with the social relationships, and the dimension and meaning of the public sphere. Indeed, the strong relationship connecting digital participation initiatives and the city entails the mobilisation of social, political, and cultural spaces both involved in and transformed by them. In particular, multiple digital participation and innovation initiatives have been flourishing within the realm of urban governance, where digital tools have been widely employed to enlarge the plethora of subjects participating in the production of solutions to pressing urban challenges and needs (from community services to strategies to reduce pollution, from cohesion and inclusion to care of elderly and children, etc.). In so doing, these urban governance initiatives entangle with multiple physical and virtual spaces, introducing distinctive spatialities.

Drawing from the analytical and conceptual tools introduced by the “digital turn” in geography, the session welcomes contributions that critically examine the social production of urban space mediated through the social construction of digital technologies in urban governance, and the relational, hybrid spatialities produced.

Specifically, by deconstructing digital participation practices and stressing the relevance of the context in which these initiatives take place, the session aims to provide insights on the heterogeneous socio-technical assemblages that sustain them and to unveil the imaginaries and values behind them; the actors involved; the technologies and material infrastructures enabling the introduction of digital innovative practices and products; and the power relations thus enacted.  Both empirically grounded contributions and theoretical interventions will be accepted, either in Italian or in English. Reflections on the socio-spatial aspects of digital participation in urban governance during “pandemic times” could provide further elements to the discussion.

Submit your abstract here:

[Italian version available here

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