In this series Living Maps we will be developing a critical reading of the ‘smart city’ agenda and exploring ways in which digital mapping and other technologies could be mobilised or transformed to serve as platform for democratic action.

30 September Robert Hollands : Challenging the Corporate Smart City (Discussant Phil Cohen) 6-8pm

Driven by the profit motive of global high-technology companies, in collusion with the trend towards city governance being wedded to a competitive form of ‘urban entrepreneurialism’, the smart city agenda has left little room for ordinary people to participate. The lecture seeks to make an intervention into  the corporate smart city model, firstly through an internal critique and secondly by considering smartness from different perspectives emanating from small-scale and fledgling examples of participatory and citizen-based initiatives.

Robert Hollands is a Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University. He has written widely in urban and youth studies, including studies of nightlife,  smart cities, fringe festivals, the egalitarian arts, and alternative urban cultures. His latest project is a Major Research Fellowship with the Leverhulme Trust entitled: ‘Urban Cultural Movements and the Struggle for Alternative Creative Spaces.

Further information from

Tickets to all events £10.00 £5.00 concessions. Bookings please email:

Please note that places for the lectures, seminar and workshop are limited so early booking is advised.