Category Archives: SMART Cities

City as Bicycle Space

Genre de Vie is about the senses, urban experiences and transit.  It documents how urban life is enhanced and empowered by the bicycle — a simple interface to experiencing and accessing the city.  Bicycling becomes attractive when it is safe and the fastest way to access the city.   These two requirements involve providing separate infrastructure for bicycles: physically separated lanes, convenient bike rental/sharing and integrated networks of bicycle routes throughout the city.  By bicycle, I can get across Paris in under 40 minutes, impossible by almost any other mode of transport.

Genre de Vie, filmed in Copenhagen and New York by Jorri Spoelstra and Sven Prince of Photobooth Works and Faithful to the Subject, offers insights on how we can make our own cities immediately more livable and enjoyable for ourselves.

IMG_1234-Rob Shields (University of Alberta)

SMART Cities Timeline

SMART Cities Timeline
A Timeline of the development of the SMART City notion, key actors and events in propagating the idea. Rob Shields, Iwona Faferek CRSC University of Alberta Copyright 2014.

Information is data-in-formtion and can be transmitted and processed.  Knowledge, however, is still a uniquely human activity of working-up understanding, ‘getting the message’, meaning-making.  As such it requires social interaction in order to understand the codes, references and context of the information presented in any communication.  ‘Smart’ involves being able to work with knowledge and information together by selecting information and applying it in a context as knowledge and in relation to other knowledge, such as experience, ‘know-how’, ‘knowledge-of’, ‘knowledge-why’ and ‘knowing who’.  In addition, it involves trust, faith and affects such as determination, passion and pleasure.

The SMART city reduces these to the tech equivalent of the thermostat in your house and some wifi.  Comment if you have an example that disproves this.

-Rob Shields, University of Alberta