It is with great sadness that we share with you news that our colleague, Dr. Alexander Aylett, passed away last Saturday, July 23rd after a long battle with cancer.
Alex was Professor of Urban Sustainability Governance and Innovation at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) in Montreal, and co-founder of ecoHackMTL. He was also a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT, where he worked under long-time UGEC associate JoAnn Carmin on the Urban Climate Change Governance Survey. Alex participated in the UGEC Workshop, “Transitions to a Low Carbon Urban Future in an Era of Extreme Events” in July 2014, and wrote one of the most popular articles on the UGEC Viewpoints Blog: Green cities and smart cities: The potential and pitfalls of digitally-enabled green urbanism.
He was a kind, intelligent, generous man, and a pleasure to work with. The UGEC International Project Office and Scientific Steering Committee wish to express our deepest condolences to all of his family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.
Is the “smart cities” movement delivering on its aspirations of creating environmentally sustainable cities? One of the pillars of smart urbanism has been the claim that smart cities can also be radically more sustainably. New urban digital technologies, data-driven governance, and digitally-enabled citizenship are celebrated for their ability to increase resource efficiency and enable innovative shifts towards more deeply sustainable cities. But no sustained critical attention has been paid to the potential and pitfalls of this digitally-enabled green urbanism.
This session provides a critical overview of the successes and challenges of creating cities that are both smart and sustainable. It looks at how digital processes—and the urban embedding of computational logics—affect the environmental capabilities of cities and citizens. It also explores the broader socio-political implications of creating an interface between sustainability and digital narratives as a driving force behind current approaches to urban issues. Continue reading →