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Rob Kitchin: Navigating Smart Cities

The event will be held in English and simultaneously interpreted into German. In addition, the lecture will be broadcast live from 7 pm. The recorded video will be uploaded to this website a few days after the event.

The vision of the smart city promises efficient administration, improved quality of life for its residents, and a major contribution to sustainability. But what are the logics and ideals behind these promises and expectations? What are the perils when urban planning is determined by technology and data?

In his lecture, Rob Kitchin addresses a number of political and normative questions related to smart cities. He discusses the ethical values and principles that determine the desirable urban environment we want to create and live in. Therefore, his presentation explores how these measures ensure equal access to technology and decision-making, foster social justice and agency among all citizens. It also examines how these concerns are conceived and operationalised within smart cities around the world. How do these models and visions vary internationally, for example, between Asian and European countries? The final part of the talk will explore the ‘right to the smart city’ and ‘decentering the smart city’. How can these notions be used to create cities that truly prioritise human needs?


Rob Kitchin: Navigating Smart Cities
Tuesday, 14. Mai 2024 | 19:00 Uhr | Admission 18:30 Uhr
AUDIF Auditorium Friedrichstraße | Friedrichstraße 180, 10117 Berlin




Rob Kitchin is a professor at Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute and Department of Geography. His research examines the production of digital geographies and his present ERC-funded project (2022-27) is ‘Data Stories: Telling Stories About and With Planning and Property Data’. He is the (co)author or (co)editor of 36 academic books and (co)author of over 200 articles and book chapters, including the edited works Dialogues in Human Geography, Progress in Human Geography and Social and Cultural Geography. He is a recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.


18:30 Uhr Admission
19:00 Uhr Welcome and introduction by Tobi Müller
19:10 Uhr Lecture by Rob Kitchin
19:50 Uhr Moderated discussion and Q&A with the audience
20:30 Uhr Get-Together


To be accredited as a press representative, please contact Frederik Efferenn.

Making sense of the digital society

The current rapid pace of technological change is creating enormous uncertainties. Comprehensive explanations are needed in order to better understand the changes and shape a common future. The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) are therefore continuing the Making sense of the digital society lecture series, which was launched in 2017. The aim is to develop a European perspective on the current transformation process of our time and its social impact.






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Event date

14.05.2024 | 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm ical | gcal


Auditorium Friedrichstraße,  Friedrichstraße 180,  10117 Berlin


Lena Henkes

Researcher: Knowledge & Society


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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