Digital Cities

The terms ‘Car Sharing’ and ‘Smart Homes’ conjure up images of driverless cars and automatic coffee machines.

But the digital transformation of our lives is a bit more complex than this. In this episode, Robyn Dowling and Sophia Maalsen take a look at the digitisation of our urban lives. Sophia talks about doing digital ethnography and Robyn talks about the politics of digital infrastructure and data.

Professor Robyn Dowling is well-known for her work on social and cultural geographies of cities, and in particular suburban homes, neighbourhoods and lives. This includes long-term research on the suburbs and homes of Sydney, documented in international journal publications and her co-authored book Home (with Alison Blunt, published by Routledge). This is currently being extended in a project on the ways in which energy transitions are being enacted in commercial office spaces. She conducted Australia’s first qualitative research on car sharing that is being widely cited internationally.

Dr Sophia Maalsen is the Ian Fell Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, where she is researching the role of technology in ‘smart homes’ as a locus to address future environmental and social challenges. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Sophia was a postdoctoral researcher on the EU funded Programmable City Project where she investigated the digital transformation of cities and urban governance. In particular, she worked on the development of the Dublin Dashboard, a city metrics indicator designed to provide Dublin City Council and the residents of Dublin with real-time and relevant data on the City’s performance.

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