The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Jennifer Clark | Uneven Innovation: The Work of Smart Cities

24 February 2021, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

CASA Seminar Series 2020/21

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Dr Max Nathan

The smart cities project has mapped out a path toward implementation by effectively capturing the conversation and working around the history of technocratic approaches to urban policy and planning. The question now is what form that implementation will take, not whether this new urban technology project will move forward. In other words, the question is whether the smart cities objects, systems, and platforms, and the data that are derived from and empowers them, will be owned and governed by private companies or by cities themselves. My research on smart cities led me to question several assumptions behind the urban innovation project—both what it means for cities and what it does to them. The result is an alternative framework for thinking about smart cities as an economic development project with implications for labor and work, participation and engagement, infrastructure and real estate investment, interjurisdictional cooperation and competition, and the relationship between public and private interests. This framework is captured in five key premises about how, under the novelty of the smart cities project, we must ask the same core questions about the private development of public assets; namely, cities.

About the Speaker

Jennifer Clark

Professor/Head, City and Regional Planning Section at the Knowlton School of Architecture, College of Engineering, Ohio State University at Ohio State University

Jennifer Clark is Professor and Head of the City and Regional Planning Section at the Knowlton School of Architecture in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. She specializes in urban and regional economic development planning. Dr. Clark's most recent book is Uneven Innovation: The Work of Smart Cities (Columbia University Press, 2020).

Dr. Clark is the author of Working Regions: Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy (Routledge, 2013) and co-author of Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (Routledge, 2007) and the 3rd edition of Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning (Routledge, 2012), a widely adopted text in urban planning and policy courses. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy (Edward Elgar, 2015) and Transitions in Regional Economic Development (Routledge, 2018). In addition, she has written numerous articles and book chapters.

Dr. Clark is a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) and a Fellow of the Regional Studies Association (RSA). She is also the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the journal Regional Studies. She earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University, a Master’s degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Dr. Clark teaches courses on urban and regional economic development theory, analysis, and practice and research design and methods. She has provided expert testimony before the US Congress and policy advice and consulting to the OECD, the Canadian, UK, and US governments. Before joining the Knowlton School, Dr. Clark taught at Cornell University and the Georgia Institute of Technology where she was also the Director of the Center for Urban Innovation.

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