[If you like you can download this call in pdf format: designing smart cfp]

We invite the submission of papers that aim to push the smart urbanism envelope forward in context-sensitive, applied and practical ways. Therefore key areas of interest are a focus on looking at reflection and critique of smart initiatives and developments with real-world case studies, but also also, and in a connected way with the former theme, looking at smart/hybrid place design and shaping approaches and methods, with a specific focus on how place gets augmented through the combination of space, people, and digital technologies.

As issues of real-world applicability of findings and reflections are important in the economy of this book, we welcome papers that offer narratives and case studies on how to ‘make things happen’, in terms of stakeholder engagement and the management of intricate human and policy arenas. Linked to this, significant contributions on how to address the evaluation of approaches in smart place-making, and how to test/assess initiatives and designs, would be extremely valuable. We encourage the critical evaluation of more established public space installation and smart city initiatives, in order to learn from their successes and limitations. Throughout we emphasize the consideration of the embedded cultural qualities of place and situated-ness as central to enabling successful augmented spaces.

We will therefore give priority to papers that

  • Offer a depth of thought and analysis that transcend the easy, deterministic frequent approach portraying technologies as the only actant providing ‘solutions’ to generic urban problems
  • Have, and reinforce, a grounded approach to tech-enhanced inhabiting and making of place, where innovation and change stand at the crossroads of (specific) place, people and technology, and context matters
  • Offer realistic reflections/discussions and ideas on agency, design, policy and any practical directions for a context-rich shaping of tech-enhanced places


Sections and themes

We expect to organise the volume into three main sections:

  • Re-thinking (smart place) – this will provide a much-needed series of critical insights into how to read and frame the relation between high technologies and place, in ways which specifically refer to the intersection of space, people and technology. Although these contributions might not describe discrete design ideas or proposals, we would still expect them to suggest trajectories for action, and possible applicability to the improvement of future initiatives.
  • Designing (smart place) – this will provide a series of contribution on the design of place through (re)combined means, but above all through ideas and approaches grounded in an understanding of urban, public space and community design and regeneration. Such contributions could offer a design-based analysis of specific and significant case studies, reflections on design frameworks, principles and processes, and design proposals able to embody those principles and push the envelope of how smart urban design could evolve. Other interesting aspects of this would however deal with the often overlooked side of implementation and shaping of projects.
  • Testing (smart place) – Much of the digital and smart city rhetoric has revolved around the promise of delivering improvements to citizens’ and communities’ quality of life and cohesion, and an increase in public participation. However, the often short-lived nature of many experimental and pioneering interventions means that often long-term, real-world expected ‘impacts’ are not tested, and the loop necessary to learn from our designs is not properly closed. In this section we welcome contributions that address how to close this loop – in methodological and process terms – as well as actual evaluations of projects and initiatives which can provide invaluable insights into what works, what does not, and how quality in digital place-making can be pushed forward.


Publishing arrangements

We are already working with Elsevier to publish the book. The publisher has approached us in the first place, has now seen this CFP and is very keen on the idea in principle. Elsevier has also mentioned that all chapters would be indexed in Scopus, treating them as they were journal articles. However, clearly no definite book proposal can be formulated before having selected potential chapters. This means that once we have chosen a number of abstracts we will need to have the volume reviewed and approved by the publisher before going ahead. As we are already working with them, this should be a relatively fast process.


Submitting a paper

If you are interested in participating in this project, you should first submit an extended (between 1,000 and 1,500 words) abstract of your proposed chapter, indicating which section you believe it should belong to. Please make sure your abstract covers the main points of the paper, specifying what conclusions and main contribution it will aim to offer, rather than simply being an introduction to the topic.

Abstracts should be sent to Alessandro Aurigi (alex.aurigi@plymouth.ac.uk) and Nancy Odendaal (nancy.odendaal@uct.ac.za) by Friday 27 October 2017.

We will aim to come back with feedback quickly as we can, and generally within 4 weeks of the deadline. We regret that a degree of selection will be inevitable, even in the presence of many excellent proposals.