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

As part of the conference “Geography and Technology” [Geografia e Tecnologia] organised by the Società di Studi Geografici, the research team DIGGEO@ESOMAS is chairing a session on “Digital Participation for urban governance. Critical Explorations on space, spatiality and socio-technical assemblages”. The conference is held in Pisa, 30 June – 1 July 2022 @Università di Pisa, Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere.

Session description and contributions are the following (in Italian):

Sessione 6 – La partecipazione digitale alla governance urbana. Esplorazioni critiche su spazio, spazialità e assemblaggi sociotecnici
Proposed by Samantha Cenere, Chiara Certomà, Fabio Iapaolo, Paolo Giaccaria – Università degli Studi di Torino

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.

Session contributions:

1. La transizione verso lo smart working nel centro storico di Firenze: open data e scenari
post-pandemici (Mario Tartaglia, Mirella Loda – Università degli Studi di Firenze)
2. Digital experiments for the participation of young people in the making of the city: the
case of Rennes’ smart city (Marie-Anaïs Le Breton – Université Rennes 2)
3. Mapping collaborativi per l’analisi e la governance urbana: approcci metodologici ed
esempi (Federica Burini, Marta Rodeschini – Università degli Studi di Bergamo)
4. Bridging culture and nature by digital twins. A study case from Italian inner peripheries
(Elena Battaglini – Fondazione Di Vittorio e Roma Tre)
5. Socio-spatial implication of Blockchain tools for civic initiatives in the urban space
(Cristina Viano – Università degli Studi di Torino)

Chairing Samantha Cenere, discussion Chiara Certomà

Full conference programme available here.

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