The promise of smart cities is widespread but there are few examples of cities that have put smart city ideas into practice. It’s unclear whether the smart city concept is a meaningless buzzword or an idea that will solve environmental problems and change how cities are governed.
My research is based on socio-material perspectives on urban change. I am interested how smart city ideas affect the relationships between people, organisations, technology and the material form of cities. While smart city ideas might help to reduce the environmental impact of cities, they might also influence cities in negative ways. For example, previous research on smart cities has warned about increasing corporate control over urban governance. My current research project examines the role of smart city ideas in the Swedish city of Malmö, where a climate-smart city district called Hyllie is under development.