The Smart City Transition as a Niche Experiment - A Case Study of Copenhagen's Technological Transition

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The Smart City Transition as a Niche Experiment - A Case Study of Copenhagen's Technological Transition

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Publication 2-year master student thesis
Title The Smart City Transition as a Niche Experiment - A Case Study of Copenhagen's Technological Transition
Author Andersen, Peter Melbye
Date 2018
English abstract
This dissertation investigates how the concept of 'smart city' is made operational and governable through place-based interventions in the Danish Capital, Copenhagen. In this way, I seek to demonstrate the complexity of the smart city concept and the ways these policies are implemented in an existing city, instead of grounding the critique in universally idealized but often unrealized grand visions. Recent research into smart urbanism largely highlights the smart city agenda for being overly driven by corporate interests, who are using it to capture urban management functions as new market opportunities. This view however, seems to neglect that smart city interventions are integrated into existing urban settings, and is therefore always the outcome of social and spatial constellations of urban politics and the built environment. Therefore, rather than depicting the smart city as utopian or dystopian, I point towards a more situated understanding that moves beyond the corporate-driven smart city version, and directs attention to the urban scale where these policies are taking root. The theoretical apparatus is based on research in technological transitions, and is further supported by a relational view on urbanism to situate the analysis at the urban scale. The thesis is composed through a qualitative case study design, where document analysis and interview figures as key methods for data collection. The empirical materials have been collected from the municipality and their smart city unit, Copenhagen Solutions Lab, and the primary data source is political documents. The thesis concludes that the smart transition in Copenhagen is governed through an experimental approach where the technological possibilities are being adapted to the local context. In this way, Copenhagen Solutions Lab endeavor to ensure that only the solutions that fit the urban context are implemented, and it is therefore only specific, and more convenient solutions that are being integrated into the city. The thesis concludes further that the experimental smart-city-approach applied by CSL, contains the potential to contest corporate interests, in the sense that this approach gives rise to new explicit learning processes and efforts that holds the potential to compete with the corporate-driven smart city model.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject Smart City
Urban Planning
Technological Transitions
Experimental Urbanism
Technology
Urban Management
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/26523 Permalink to this page
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