Today, more than half of the world’s population live in urban settings. By 2050, that figure is expected to rise even further, to 6.5 billion people, with the vast majority being young people. Even by 2030, an estimated 60% of urban populations will be under the age of 18. It is therefore young people who are, and will be continuing to, drive the future of our cities.
This rapid urbanisation goes hand in hand with another global trend: the fast-growing spread of data-driven, digital technologies that are being used to improve the administration and governance of cities. These digital urban infrastructures can facilitate inclusive, democratic, and participatory decision-making, but they can also have the opposite effect. They can be used to surveil, monitor, and “datafy” people in public spaces, thereby potentially endangering rights. Therefore, we need to better understand how data-driven and digital technologies can support or threaten young people’s health, wellbeing, and livelihoods.
Responding to this need, and to ensure cities ethically and equitably deploy data-driven and digital technologies to give young people a greater say, Fondation Botnar is inviting applicants to submit research proposals as part of a new interdisciplinary research program: ‘Technology and youth participation in governing intermediary cities in LMICs’ (TYPCities). The program will run for three years (2023-2026).
Urbane Sicherheitsgouvernanz wird stark von lokalen Gegebenheiten gesteuert. Wie demokratisch und rechenschaftspflichtig ist das Politikumfeld? Welche Gefährdungen werden als primäre Herausforderungen anerkannt? Welchen Typ Technologie kann und mag eingesetzt werden? Und was ist die Rollenverteilung zwischen Staat, Privatwirtschaft und Zivilgesellschaft? An der Jahreskonferenz der Städtischen Sicherheitsdirektorinnen und -direktoren (KSSD) der Schweiz in Bern leuchte ich die Diversität der Ansätze aus, mit dem Ziel die Reflexion über Ist- und Ideal-Zustände voranzutreiben.
The speed and scale of contemporary urbanization is unprecedented, and it brings along tremendous social, environmental, economic and politics problems – while also generating enormous opportunities for livelihood improvement. With a new Future Cities Lab Global, ETH Zürich seeks to integrate and strategically advance its natural science competencies in the domain of urban science. The ambition of FCL Global, on whose research plans and governance scheme I currently counsel, and which brings together about 25 professorships and senior scientists, and 50 post-docs and PhD students, is to produce inter-disciplinary and transformative research, teaching and public outreach. Focussing on the challenges of digitization, inclusive planning, blue/green/bright infrastructure development and public health-oriented design, among other things, it seeks to promote more sustainable forms of urbanization in European and Asian settlements, through science, by design, and in place.
Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne; Cairns, Stephen; Erath, Alex; Hagmann, Jonas; Stokols, Andrew (2018). Future Cities Lab Global: Outline Proposal. Singapore/Zürich: ETH Zürich and FCL Singapore, 88p. noPDF
During the year 2017, I am counselling another Pro Helvetia Förderprojekt in visual arts. The project is developed by photographer Giacomo Bianchetti. It addresses the power of global corporations, the collusion of public and private stakeholders, as well as the exclusionary dispositives by which annual Bilderberg meetings are accompanied. Having followed the latter conferences for many years and through different European countries, Giacomo’s Bilderberg 2017 project develops a new technological and visual rendering of this high-level get-together, while also contrasting it with his previous works and exhibitions.
For more information visit Giacomo Bianchetti’s website or download his publication on Bilderberg 2015 in Telfs-Buchen (Austria) here.
Since winter 2015, I am counselling a Pro Helvetia Förderprojekt in visual arts. The project is developed by photographer Salvatore Vitale, and seeks to capture practices of contemporary national security management in Switzerland. Under the title How to secure a country, he visualises standard operating procedures of national danger management broadly defined – the control of borders, people, goods, urban spaces, mobility and so on. By focusing on manuals for professional security production, and their practical implementation in the field, he lends attention to – and displays in new ways – the difficult and bureaucratic rationalisation of the fluid thing termed ‘(in-)security’.