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Smart cities and the banality of power

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Ayona Datta, Nancy Odendaal

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-392
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number3
Early online date10 May 2019
E-pub ahead of print10 May 2019
Published1 Jun 2019

King's Authors


Smart cities have begun to garner increasing global popularity and political legitimacy in recent years. Driven largely by corporate interests, smart cities provide highly normative solutions to future urban and economic crises and are now popular in the global north and south alike. Despite a growing critical scholarship on smart cities, the processes and politics through which they manifest in different locations are widely different. Yet, there is a dearth of research on how an understanding of smart cities through the lens of power might contribute to our understanding of contemporary urban theory, citizenship and wider urban transformations. The papers, in this special issue, represent a range of entry points for examining the dynamics of power in the operationalisation of the smart city concept in different contexts. The intention is to examine how smart cities produce and engage power, as a way of normalising the structural and social violence inherent in urban transformations across the world.

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