Digital Sustainability? A colloquium at EURegions University Week

I am presenting, together with our team at DIGGEO@ESOMAS an online discussion session at the 2022 #EURegionsWeekUniversity titled  “Digital Sustainability? Potentialities and pitfalls of digitally-supported ecological transition in Europe” and held on the 11th of October 2022, 2.30-4.00 pm.

University Sessions are organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO)and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) advised by the Regional Studies Association European Foundation (RSA Europe) and with the cooperation of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). Full program available as online programme and an onsite programme.

Registration for participants is available here:

Session: “Digital Sustainability? Potentialities and pitfalls of digitally-supported ecological transition in Europe” (11WS22276)

The digital revolution is widely impacting urban governance in European cities. We know that digital tools are potentially adequate to make sustainability transition more efficient, effective and broadly accessible. However, the association between digitalization and sustainability is questionable as it may produce both progressive and regressive socio-environmental implications.

We invite participants to engage with the potentialities but also the pitfalls of digital sustainability, including the impacts of digitech on global environmental changes and its socio-environmental costs.

In detail:  The association between digitalization and sustainability has been promoted by international organisations and the EU institutions under the auspice that dematerialisation, disintermediation, and virtualisation of social reproduction processes can lighten our ecological footprint. We know today that sustainability presents a multidimensional character and requires a balance between environmental protection and social measures supporting democratization, cohesion, and justice. Whether digitalisation is serving the environmental cause is questionable as this may produce both progressive and regressive implications in terms of ecological sustainability or social justice. 

Underestimating these challenges might threaten the achievement of transition goals. We want to stimulate collective critical thinking on the sustainability of the the production, distribution, use, and disposal cycle of digi-tech to detect where this affect the socio-environmental supporting system and generate polarised power geometries, and novel social inequities.


1. Chiara Certomà (Assistant Professor at University of Turin, ESOMAS Dep.) introduces the digital sustainability topic – and why we need to explore it 

2.  Speakers’ corner 

  • Jessica McLean (Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University, Sidney) 
  • Alberto Cottica (Head of Research at Edgeryders in Bruxelles)
  • Igor Calzada (Senior Research at Cardiff and Oxford University and Senior Advisor UN-Habitat People-Centered Smart Cities)

3.         Fabio Iapaolo (Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, Far. Of Technology Design and Environment) introduces the discussion by Samantha Cenere (Assistant Professor at  University of Turin, ESOMAS Dep.) and Luis Antonio Martin Sanchez (Research Fellow at University of Turin, ESOMAS Dep.) and moderates the Q&A time

4.         Chiara Certomà and  Fabio Iapaolo chair the collaborative drafting with speakers and participants of key challenges for making the EU region more digitally sustainable


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