Dismantling the smart city. Going for the myth, coming with the motto

The popularization of the adjective “smart” for talking about particular conglomerates of things, intending to highlight a new specific technological process, is the triumph of corporate propaganda over what we understand as urban life. Nowadays to talk about “smart cities” is a normalized and popularized attitude from business magazines to technological reviews; from entrepreneurial movements… Continue reading Dismantling the smart city. Going for the myth, coming with the motto

Earth is round but society is flat. Exploring the concept of “scale” in transitions and ANT (I)

One of the most well-known characteristics of Actor-Network Theory is the non-existence, neither as ontological conceptions nor as methodological resources, of dichotomies close/far; large-scale/small-scale; inside/outside (Latour, 1996). The metaphor of the “network” (“plasma” or any other structure in this way) produces a specific sense of relationship where the “in between” appears, perhaps, as the only… Continue reading Earth is round but society is flat. Exploring the concept of “scale” in transitions and ANT (I)

Times Square from a classical STS perspective. An introduction

Classical STS has been working on/with solid and established objects and scenarios since its foundation: scientists, science, engineering, engineers, laboratories, systems, technology, infrastructures. But classical STS is also an arena of constant discussions and bifurcations. As an interdisciplinary set of knowledge, Science & Technology Studies are composed of different perspectives and ways of understanding the… Continue reading Times Square from a classical STS perspective. An introduction

Experimenting in the experimental city

Cities are the epithet of progress. Cities are the humanity’s greatest invention (Glaeser, 2011). Cities are sites for experimenting, creating, and innovating. But cities are also scenarios where poverty, inequality, environmental threatens, and insecurity happen. Cities are administrative ways of dividing geographies. “City” is a metaphor; the city is a semantic resource. “City” is a… Continue reading Experimenting in the experimental city

Looking for a locality. Working on transitions in Times Square (I)

Transition studies in STS (Elzen et al. 2004; Geels, 2002, 2010; Grin et al. 2010) have a preference and a solid background on Large-scale and long-term technological issues in contexts of crisis. (See, for example, low-carbon transition in a situation of climate crisis: Steward, 2012; Xiang-Wan, 2016; Geels et al. 2017; Geels, 2018; Roberts et… Continue reading Looking for a locality. Working on transitions in Times Square (I)

The Project for Public Spaces

The transformation of Times Square from a car-land to a sight of the walkable public space is the result of a process based on pedestrianizing Broadway that occurred during the Bloomberg mayoralty. In a brief sense, the portions of Broadway Avenue crossing Times Square and Herald Square were eliminated from the City's traffic system, changing… Continue reading The Project for Public Spaces

What is an urban lab?

To think about the city as a laboratory is not the only way of using this metaphor in an urban scenario; we also have urban labs. An urban laboratory is either a temporal or a permanent “constructed site of knowledge production” (Karvonen & van Heur, 2014). The nature of the laboratory is not relevant at… Continue reading What is an urban lab?

City as a laboratory

Laboratory studies (Latour & Woolgar 1979; Woolgar, 1982) is one of the main action areas in STS and as Doing (2008) indicates “(it) represents the foundation of STS.” “The accent (of this discipline) is on the in situ observation of scientific activity” (Woolgar, 1982). Knoor-Cetina (1995) points her glance on the relationship between the laboratory… Continue reading City as a laboratory

Expanding a corner in Times Square. First approach

Around seven and a half in the morning, a man dressed red is dragging a kind of metal rack with wheels around the northern part of Duffy Square. The rack contains twenty-two chairs and sixteen tables. All of them are metal painted red. He stops near the TKTS booths and starts to organize first the… Continue reading Expanding a corner in Times Square. First approach