I’m delighted to share news of a two-day workshop on “Designing Smart Cities – opportunities and regulatory challenges” at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow) later this year (31st March/1st April).

The event takes place at Strathclyde’s spectacular new Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC). I’ve been watching this building rise over the last few years (I regularly attend an exam board across the road from it), and I’m sure I won’t be the only one looking forward to seeing what they have done with the place.

There are some excellent speakers lined up.  (And when they’re all done, I’ll speak too). Smart cities is a topic that attracts a lot of interest and equal amounts of enthusiasm and cynicism (see for instance this recent Guardian series). Unsurprisingly, the speakers and topics are drawn from a very wide range of disciplines. Here’s a list of the things you are likely to hear about:

  • What are Smart Cities? Local and international perspectives.
  • Comparative International Perspectives: considering differences between developing & developed nation projects
  • Policing and privacy in smart cities: looking at ambient public space monitoring, public engagement & algorithmic surveillance
  • Ubiquitous computing, connected data and privacy in the home
  • Future Energy Management and Sustainability: considering implications of smart grids & metering e.g. climate change, privacy
  • Intelligent Built Environments & Urban Living: the role of big data in planning & design; growth of adaptive architecture e.g. buildings changing due to biometric inputs
  • Smart transport Infrastructure: aspects of intelligent roads and autonomous cars
  • Creative Smart Cities: issues such as ambient public art
  • Play through sports e.g. marathons; large scale events like Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014

I’m particularly excited at the opportunity to hear a number of excellent speakers in person for the first time, including David Murakami Wood (Canadian-based expert on surveillance – and Newcastle graduate!), and Maynooth’s Rob Kitchin (a leading Irish geographer who ran the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis and is working more and more on questions of data). The event is put together by Strathclyde’s professor of Internet law, Lilian Edwards.

Registration is currently free. Many of the events I’ve seen advertised on this topic are clearly targeted at those with very deep pockets; like so many emerging areas, it can seem that the expertise is only available at a high price. Sponsorship of this event allows for free registration, subject to availability. You can register at this link. Places are limited.