Jul 14, 2024  
Catalogue 2022-2023 
Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOG 340 - Advanced Urban and Regional Studies

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
Topic for 2022/23b: Technological Urbanism and the Politics of Place. A faith in the capacity of markets and technology to render urban life more efficient, less contentious, and easier to manage has long animated discourses surrounding cities. The techno-libertarian dream of a networked world free of political conflict, one governed through processes of information feedback as a self-regulating system of market signals, struck some observers as on the verge of materializing with the appearance of the ‘smart city’ in corporate brochures and policy initiatives. Yet, political contests over inequality, oppression, and the character of collective self-rule in cities remain. This class contextualizes the spectral figure of the ‘smart city’ within the broader conceptual framework of technological urbanism. It tracks the anti-political and systematizing impulse that imbues technological urbanism to the advent of market liberalism; it links the appeal of digital technology as a governmental means to the efforts of postwar military researchers and theorists of cybernetics; and it situates the birth of technological urbanism as it is presently pursued in place and time – Silicon Valley in an era of capitalist globalization. Though efforts to realize the dream of the ‘smart city’ might very well prove futile, the pursuit of development projects yoked to the goals of technological urbanism will continue to have consequential effects.

One 3-hour period.

Course Format: CLS

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