How are digital platforms being mobilised to re-imagine the future of cities? Inaugural lecture by Mike Hodson

Mike Hodson hosted his inaugural professorial lecture as part of the Original Thinking Lecture series on Wednesday, 27 April 2022. In this lecture, Prof Hodson addressed how digital platforms as a form of urban infrastructure are being used in visions of f

Mike Hodson - Original Thinking Lecture

Innovation with urban infrastructure and its social organisation has become a key strategic concern for policymakers and other stakeholders at urban scale. As a response to a range of pressing contemporary and future challenges facing urban contexts, infrastructural innovation is frequently mobilised in visions of the future of the city that are produced by public authorities, business organisations and NGOs. 

Yet, visions of infrastructural innovation are not benign, technocratic representations of the future of cities but are media through which the struggle for the future of the city, and the role of infrastructural innovation in this, is played out. This requires critical thinking about the strategic centrality of urban infrastructure to how the future of the city is being re-imagined but also focusing on the politics of possibility in shaping urban infrastructure and the future city.

In this lecture Mike Hodson constructed an argument that provides a first step towards this end by addressing how digital platforms as a form of urban infrastructure are being mobilised in visions of the future of the city, the social interests shaping this, and what the implications of this are.

The lecture was facilitated by Andrew McMeekin, Professor of Innovation in the Sustainable Consumption Institute and can be watched back on YouTube.