UCL Urban Laboratory


Rodrigo Firmino writes on the tyranny of the educated in smart cities for LA+ Journal

29 May 2016

LA+ Tyranny page excerpt

Dr. Rodrigo Firmino, Honorary Senior Research Associate in UCL Urban Laboratory, has published a paper in the new issue of LA+ Journal, a landscape architectural magazine.

In his paper 'Connected and Controlled: Surveillance, Security and Cities', Rodrigo explores the dilemma of dependence of post-modern societies on the pervasive and controllable capabilities of digital technologies. The possibilities for programmable cities and the city of the Internet of things are confronted with selective processes of place-making and territorialisation. This exposes the risks of having smarter technologies, smarter things, smarter places, and smarter cities, being used and populated by an increasingly divided mass of a few privileged smart people and many dumb citizens. In this paper Rodrigo calls attention to the tyranny of the smart!

Published by the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, LA+ (Landscape Architecture Plus) draws out landscape architecture's interdisciplinary potential, bringing together a collection of contemporary thinkers and designers. The theme for this issue is Tyranny, questioning the rigid barriers of military zones to the subtle ways in which landscape is used to 'naturalize' power.

Matthew Gandy, previous Director of UCL Urban Laboratory, contributes an article that shines a light on the very first tool of modern surveillance: artificial illumination. Other contributors include Richard Welleron, Patrizia Violi, Erik Swyngedouw, Stephen Graham, and Chang-tai Hung.

For a limited time you can receive a 20% discount on purchasing a copy of the journal by using the code '20LESS' at the checkout.

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