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GURU Theme: Infrastructure and Digital Technologies

This theme considers disruptive digital technologies and their implications for sustainable cities.

Our research looks at how infrastructures and digital technologies operate. We look at their politics, economies, labour practices, and environmental implications. We explore how digital technologies contribute to or undermine more sustainable societies. 

Our work explores a range of disruptive digital technologies including:

  • artificial intelligence and machine learning decision-making
  • personal data extraction and biometrics
  • the platform or gig economy
  • 5G networks or sensor-enabled smart cities
  • infrastructure 
  • transportation

The challenge is to develop societal and technical understandings of these developments. We seek theoretical and evidence-based interventions suitable for a (post)austerity society. 

In doing this, we adopt a global urban approach. We trace how digital technologies: 

  • travel from centres or regions of production
  • interact with situated or place-based practices and knowledge
  • can be modified, adapted, or constrained 
  • how to achieve sustainable cities and societies

Theme lead: Professor Jeremy Crampton