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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg November 27, 2017

Smart cities, epistemic communities, advocacy coalitions and the `last mile' problem

Rob Kitchin

Rob Kitchin is professor and ERC Advanced Investigator at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. He is (co)principal investigator of the Programmable City project and the Building City Dashboards project. He has published widely across the social sciences, including 26 authored/edited books and over 180 articles and book chapters. He was the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, and is presently editor of the journal, Dialogues in Human Geography. He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

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, Claudio Coletta

Claudio Coletta is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), Maynooth University. He works as part of the ERC funded Programmable City Project. His research focus is on urban phenomena at the intersection between technology, narratives, practices, explored through qualitative methods. His current interests address algorithms and automated urban management, temporal dimension of smart city development, experimental urbanism and procurement.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

, Leighton Evans

Leighton Evans is a Senior Lecturer in Media Theory at Swansea University, having previously been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), Maynooth University. His research focus is on phenomenology and digital media, with interests in locative media, virtual and augmented reality, the experience of labour in data intensive environments and the subjective experience of technological implementation.

Media and Communications, Swansea University, SA2 8PP, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

, Liam Heaphy

Liam Heaphy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth University, working on the ERC-funded Programmable City Project. He has a background in social sciences, with an interest in science and technology studies, architecture and history, and languages. His research is on the relationship between urban science and urban form, covering smart city technologies and climate change. He has worked and studied at the University of Manchester, as well as the University of Salamanca, Spain and the médialab of Sciences Po, Paris.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

and Darach MacDonncha

Darach MacDonncha is a doctoral student at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth University, working on the ERC-funded Programmable City Project. He has a BA in Geography and Irish from National University of Ireland, Galway and a MA in Geopolitics and the Global Economy from University College Dublin. His research is focused on the adoption of digital technologies by city administrations and the political economy of smart cities.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

Abstract

We argue that the ideas, ideals and the rapid proliferation of smart city rhetoric and initiatives globally have been facilitated and promoted by three inter-related communities: (i) `urban technocrats'; (ii) a smart cities `epistemic community'; (iii) a wider `advocacy coalition'. We examine their roles and the multiscale formation, and why despite their influence they encounter a `last mile problem'; that is, smart city initiatives are yet to become fully mainstreamed. We illustrate this last mile problem through a discussion of plans to introduce smart lighting in Dublin.

About the authors

Rob Kitchin

Rob Kitchin is professor and ERC Advanced Investigator at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. He is (co)principal investigator of the Programmable City project and the Building City Dashboards project. He has published widely across the social sciences, including 26 authored/edited books and over 180 articles and book chapters. He was the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, and is presently editor of the journal, Dialogues in Human Geography. He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

Claudio Coletta

Claudio Coletta is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), Maynooth University. He works as part of the ERC funded Programmable City Project. His research focus is on urban phenomena at the intersection between technology, narratives, practices, explored through qualitative methods. His current interests address algorithms and automated urban management, temporal dimension of smart city development, experimental urbanism and procurement.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

Leighton Evans

Leighton Evans is a Senior Lecturer in Media Theory at Swansea University, having previously been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), Maynooth University. His research focus is on phenomenology and digital media, with interests in locative media, virtual and augmented reality, the experience of labour in data intensive environments and the subjective experience of technological implementation.

Media and Communications, Swansea University, SA2 8PP, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Liam Heaphy

Liam Heaphy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth University, working on the ERC-funded Programmable City Project. He has a background in social sciences, with an interest in science and technology studies, architecture and history, and languages. His research is on the relationship between urban science and urban form, covering smart city technologies and climate change. He has worked and studied at the University of Manchester, as well as the University of Salamanca, Spain and the médialab of Sciences Po, Paris.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

Darach MacDonncha

Darach MacDonncha is a doctoral student at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth University, working on the ERC-funded Programmable City Project. He has a BA in Geography and Irish from National University of Ireland, Galway and a MA in Geopolitics and the Global Economy from University College Dublin. His research is focused on the adoption of digital technologies by city administrations and the political economy of smart cities.

NIRSA, Maynooth University, Iontas Building, W23 F2H6, Maynooth, Ireland

Acknowledgement

The research for this paper was provided by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, `The Programmable City' (ERC-2012-AdG-323636).

Received: 2017-5-24
Revised: 2017-10-20
Accepted: 2017-10-29
Published Online: 2017-11-27
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

©2017 Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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