Learning from small cities: Governing imagined futures and the dynamics of change in India's smart urban age

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

The coming of an Indian urban age has highlighted the challenges of rapid urbanisation and rural-urban migration in planning for sustainable futures. In India, solutions to this challenge are imagined in two interlinked programmes of Digital India and 100 Smart Cities that claim to present a new 'certainty' of governing urban futures. This project begins with the hypothesis that 'small cities' are the test-beds of experiments in 'futuring', since a majority of current smart city proposals are in cities with population < 3 million. These small cities present a 'double gap' in our knowledge of urban futures since a) there is uncertainty around the role that they will play in delivering on the challenges of India's urban age, and b) there is a research gap in understanding how their futuring is translated into 'actually existing' smart cities in India.

This two year project will critically learn from the dynamics of change in small cities as they are transformed by smart technologies and infrastructures. It will use interdisciplinary approaches from urban, social and cultural geography, as well as sociology and geoinformatics to learn from three small cities - Shimla, Jalandhar and Nashik. Conceptually, we approach 'small cities' not as demographically defined entities but as 'ordinary cities' with specific social, cultural, political, and historical contexts of 'smallness' that has kept them 'off the map' of urban studies. This project will focus on three interlinked scales - state, city and citizen through the following research questions:

1. How and why do small cities become the test-beds of state imaginations of India's urban futures?
At a national scale, we will explore how and why state visions of 'futuring', through Digital India and 100 Smart Cities programmes, make specific 'assets' in small cities worthy of incubating these imaginaries. Specifically, we will investigate the genealogies of 'futuring' in India's urbanization and its links to current visions of smart cities.
2. How do small cities translate state imagined urban futures into 'actually existing' smart cities?
Building on RQ1, we will explore how small cities imagine their own urban futures, through particular smart city projects. Specifically, we will examine how small cities learn to innovate by championing their 'assets' in a competitive international context while negotiating for more autonomous roles in governing their futures.
3. How do citizens of small cities 'live with change' induced by smart city developments?
Following on from RQ1 and 2 above, we will investigate how smart city projects are perceived by those citizens who are targets of these projects at the neighbourhood level; how they are experienced, negotiated, challenged and supported. This takes 'futuring' as a lived experience of change where everyday knowledge of community assets, resources and infrastructures will be used to inform smart city policies at larger scales.
4. How can we 'learn' from small cities to inform practices of 'thinking' and 'doing' urban policy?
This brings together the above RQs to take learning as a reflective practice in urban theory and policy. Specifically, we will focus on how learning occurs at three interlinked scales of state, city and citizen and how this transform the ways that we might imagine global urban futures.

The project will use a range of interdisciplinary, digital, visual and participatory methodologies. In each of these cities, we will undertake analysis of imagined urban futures through longitudinal mapping and analysis of physical and social transformations, crowdsourced digital and community asset mapping and interviews with stakeholders and 'beneficiaries' of smart city projects. The findings will direct specific pathways to impact including an animated infographic of smart city asset toolkit, local language policy briefing pamphlets, dedicated website, blogs, project conference, exhibition and catalogue.

Planned Impact

This project lies at the intersection of a number of global policies including Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Habitat III-New Urban Agenda, ICT4development and ODA commitments to international development assistance (See ODA compliance statement). It engages with four communities of interest, all directly involved and impacted by the research project either through the design, delivery and involvement in the data collection and/or in the impact activities (See PTI document for more details).

1) Inter/Governmental depts. and agencies (Ministry of Urban Development, NIUA, Niti Aayog, CEOs, Mayoral offices and Municipalities of Shimla, Jalandhar and Nashik) responsible for urban development: Stakeholders in this group often see small cities at best as failed urbanisms which need large scale infrastructural interventions in order to address developmental gaps; and at worst as complicit in their own shortcomings. The 100 smart cities programme has reinforced this through its focus on smart technology and infrastructural projects, which has not reflected on the value of existing community assets in small cities. The stakeholder workshops and policy briefs in this project will provide a platform to this group to debate in a mutually respectful environment, the diversity of ways to include and integrate community assets in their smart city projects.

2) Third sector organisations and NGOs working on specific urban issues in the three cities (National Hawkers Federation, Jalandhar; Sutra, Shimla, HALWA, Nashik). The project will connect to these stakeholders through their involvement in design and execution and impact activities. We have included one societal partner from this group in each city, who will support the data collection, co-organise the workshops and deliver on some of the impact activities. By integrating them within impact pathways through workshops, project catalogue and conference, we will achieve evidence based policy influence from the grassroots.

3) Planners, built environment professionals and smart cities consultants: This project will contribute to professional knowledge and debates on India's urbanization which remain uncertain about the consequences of small town urbanization and view these through a one-size fits all developmental lens. They will find the project findings useful in providing detailed evidence base to address several knowledge gaps, particularly in the value and potential of existing assets in these cities that can contribute to more sustainable smart city projects. There is a common assumption within this sector that the smart city is a technological problem, which will automatically address issues of governance and development. The project will highlight the diversity of interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach required to produce sustainable urban futures. More specifically, the smart city asset toolkit, project catalogue and exhibition will support them in designing better smart city interventions.

4) The main beneficiaries of this project are ordinary citizens living with rapid urbanization and social-economic and material change in small cities of India. Their involvement in the data collection through asset mapping, and their participation in the stakeholder workshop will be key to delivering long-term impact across other stakeholders identified above and bringing transformative change in smart city projects. The production of local language pamphlets clarifying and outlying the project findings will also impact on local communities in better understanding and participating in the dynamics of change.

Summary of Impact deliverables:
- One Stakeholder workshop in each city - Shimla, Jalandhar and Nashik
- Smart city asset toolkit and policy briefings for planners
- Local language pamphlets translating the project findings to grassroots communities
- Project website and social media engagement
- Conferences, public exhibition and project catalogue

Publications

10 25 50
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Bailey D (2021) Regions in Covid-19 recovery in Regional Studies

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Datta Ayona (2021) Learning from Small Cities

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Shaban A (2019) Towards "Slow" and "Moderated" Urbanism in Economic and Political Weekly

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
ES/R006857/1 30/04/2018 22/09/2019 £375,996
ES/R006857/2 Transfer ES/R006857/1 23/09/2019 28/02/2022 £216,710
 
Title ArcGIS Storymap: Smart Jalandhar 
Description This Storymap is part of our wider research project on Learning from Small Cities , and reports on Jalandhar, India. Jalandhar is a city of more than 800,000 people in the north-western Indian state of Punjab, only 100 kilometers from the international border with Pakistan. Jalandhar is known as a trade and manufacturing hub for sports goods and machinery, and is currently in economic decline. The inclusion of Jalandhar into India's 100 Smart City Mission marks a crucial moment in the city's efforts to reinvigorate it's cultural and industrial sectors. In this StoryMap we present the Lessons from Jalandhar through the themes of imagining, governing, and living urban futures. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Widely cited by peers as novel example of methodology and representation. 
URL https://arcg.is/HW5fe
 
Title ArcGIS Storymap: Smart Nashik 
Description This Storymap is part of our wider research project on Learning from Small Cities , and reports on Nashik, India. Nashik is a city of 1.4m population and third largest city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It has long been known as a site of Hindu pilgrimage that hosts the Kumbh Mela every twelve years - a huge congregation of devotees by the banks of the river Godavari. In recent times it has also come to be known as the ' wine capital ' of India, due to the growing wine economy in its western outskirts. The inclusion of Nashik into India's 100 Smart City Mission marks a crucial moment in the city's imagination of reconciling traditional and modern elements of its identity. In this report we present the lessons from Nashik through the themes of imagining, governing, and living urban futures. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Widely cited by peers as a novel methodology for representation of research findings. 
URL https://arcg.is/1GuWTC0
 
Title ArcGIS Storymap: Smart Shimla 
Description This Storymap is part of our wider research project on Learning from Small Cities , and reports on our findings on Shimla, India. Shimla, a city of about 170,000 people, is a picturesque hill station nestled in the Himalayan foothills. It has witnessed several political upheavals in the past century, which has come to be reflected in its demographic, social, and physical characteristics. It was the summer capital of the British Empire (1864-1945) when the colonial administration made the long arduous journey annually from Delhi in the plains to the Himalayan hill-station. Shimla was also the capital of Punjab state in the years following independence in 1947. Eventually it was incorporated as the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. Currently, it is designated to become one of the 100 Smart Cities in India. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Widely cited as a novel methodology to represent research findings 
URL https://arcg.is/1mS04n
 
Title Learning from Small Cities 
Description 12 Nov-31 Dec 2021 This exhibition presents findings from Learning from Small Cities, an international research collaboration from 2018-2021 that sought to learn how small cities in India undergoing rapid and radical urban transformations, can reimagine and realise new urban futures in a digital age. Moving away from the earlier focuses on metropolitan cities in the global south, it shifts our attention towards the much neglected but dynamic context of 'small cities' that are now the frontiers of planetary scale urbanisation. Learning from Small Cities uses the interconnected lenses of Governing, Imagining and Living with urban futures to present how small cities have become testbeds of state imaginations of India's urban future and how the realities of living with change are complex and contested on the ground. The exhibition showcases how urban authorities translate state imaginations of smart urban futures into 'actually existing' smart cities, how ordinary citizens in these cities live with the dynamics of these changes, how they reimagine 'smart' from the ground up, and how this combined knowledge might be mobilised towards more sustainable smart urban futures. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Attended physically and virtually by academics and postgraduate students. The exhibition was featured in the London Architecture Diary 'Editor's Choice' for the month: https://london.architecturediary.org/editors-choice/ The Bloomsbury Institute brought in their students to look at the exhibition. Here is what the lecturer, Arif Zaman, emailed: "I attended the excellent Learning from Small Cities conference last week online and am bringing our students in to the see the exhibition this week in small groups of up to about 12 as part of the final year course studies. This is of part of our focus on Urbanisation and Innovation and the impact of technology." 
URL https://www.buildingcentre.co.uk/whats_on/exhibitions/learning-from-small-cities
 
Title Learning from Small Cities 
Description The world is more urban and more connected than ever before. Half of what we know as the 'urban population' of the global south lives in small and medium cities. What can we learn from small cities about how to build sustainable and inclusive urban futures? Conceptualised and written by: Ayona Datta, Sophie Hadfield-Hill, Melissa Butcher. Animator: Stacy Bias Funded by: UKRI ESRC and Newton Fund More information at https://www.smartsmallcity.com/ Twitter: @smartsmallcity 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Social media engagement with 146 views till date 
URL https://youtu.be/bG-ioT9o_pU
 
Title Learning from Small Cities - Jalandhar 
Description Speed has become a mantra of urban development that demands the fast movement of labour and capital to generate urban prosperity. This is ingrained in the imagination of the smart city where people, information and infrastructure can be efficiently managed, never slowing or stopping. But in this city of speed, what happens to pedestrians, vendors, hawkers, and those who make a living off busy streets? What is lost in the need for speed? Conceptualised and written by: Varun Patil, Ayona Datta, Sophie Hadfield-Hill, Melissa Butcher. Animator: Stacy Bias Funded by: UKRI ESRC and Newton Fund More information at https://www.smartsmallcity.com/ Twitter: @smartsmallcity 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Social Media engagement with 109 views 
URL https://youtu.be/vwmzJmHIZN4
 
Title Learning from Small Cities - Nashik 
Description Urban rivers provide water for drinking, sanitation, agriculture and industry and more. They are also deeply engrained in the cultures of communities living near them, and produce urban mythologies, identities, and notions of shared heritage. What happens when these rivers are seen as commodities to be redeveloped for imagined smart urban futures? This is a story of Goda Ghat, a temple complex built in the late eighteenth century on the banks of the Godavari river in Nashik. It highlights how ordinary communities can work together to compel the urban municipality to address historical decisions that had devastated river ecologies and cultures for decades. Animator: Sabari Venu Funded by: UKRI ESRC and Newton Fund More information at https://www.smartsmallcity.com/ Twitter: @smartsmallcity 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Social media engagement with 92 views so far. 
URL https://youtu.be/Y9xSEmxQyxM
 
Title Learning from Small Cities: Shimla 
Description Across the world slums are labeled as unclean, disorderly places and seen as a problem for planning smart cities of the future. This animation tells the story of Krishnanagar, labelled as the largest slum in the Shimla district in India to suggest that we need to rethink smart cities from below. This is possible only through an appreciation of the slum as a historic and cultural heritage of the city, delinking it from claims of informality or illegality. This would provide mode inclusive snd sustainable pathways for planning for the future city. Animation Direction: Sabari Venu 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact Circulated across social media. Impacts are still emerging. 
URL https://youtu.be/BR71g8GgDqw
 
Description The project 'Learning from small cities' has generated descriptive knowledge about the shifting uses of space and contesting claims to space witnessed in sites of smart city interventions across three small cities of India - Nashik, Jalandhar, and Shimla.

PROGRESS TILL DATE:
1. Participant interviews and ethnography: We have so far conducted over 65 in-depth interviews and ethnography across each of the three small cities - Shimla, Nashik and Jalandhar with project beneficiaries and 'affected' populations. These are currently being translated and analysed. Local Research Assistants have completed in-depth ethnography in key sites and areas of the city which are being transformed through smart city developments.
2. Stakeholder interviews: 35 key stakeholder interviews (representing a diverse spectrum of the Smart city consultants, policymakers and civil servants) have been conducted across three cities. These are currently being translated and analysed by the PI and Research associate.
3. Community Asset mapping The team has conducted six community-asset mapping workshops at sites across three cities - Nashik, Jalandhar, and Shimla. These workshops have brought together local members of the community and enabled them to identify tangible and intangible assets in their neighbourhoods that shape their experience of urban transformation. The workshops provided a platform for community members to articulate their needs and provide feedback on the smart city interventions planned in their cities/neighbourhoods. The reports from these workshops are available on the project website. The findings will be incorporated into public-facing outputs from the project to be presented to the municipal and smart city officials as well as the general public.
4. Project Website and Social media: The project website was launched in 2018 and have drawn good traffic. The twitter handle is active and has currently 830 followers. All project news is distributed through the social media channels.
5. We have commissioned a series of Storymaps and animations to engage our findings with wider policy and lay audiences. The first set of outputs are due in April 2021.
6. We have also begun preparations for the final project conference in London in November 2021 and its linked public exhibition.

NEW TOOLS AND METHODS:
1. Map My Assets: Building on a previous ESRC funded mobile application 'Map my Community' - this modified version 'Map my Assets' - has been designed to collect data on existing city and neighbourhood assets. Project participants are able to 'check-in' at locations in their neighbourhood to collect data on infrastructure and assets (both tangible and intangible) which are of value to them and comment on their experiences of change. This App is currently being used across the three cities with participants to understand how participants experience and value existing assets as well as making them visible to urban planners and city stakeholders. Participants voice record their answers to questions and these are geotagged. The mobile app data will be mapped and layered with our other project data.
2. Community Asset Mapping: Community asset mapping (CAM) is a participatory planning tool central to the objective of this research to understand the lived experience of Smart City redevelopment in India (see http://comparativeassetmapping.org for examples). CAM workshops are a core element of our participatory approach in Naishik, Jalandhar and Shimla.

FINDINGS SO FAR
1. Although the Smart Cities Mission guidelines place an explicit emphasis on public consultations, it appears that the general level of awareness among the citizens about various planned and ongoing projects is rather low. There is also a visible absence of publicity about these on the part of the smart city cells.
2. Many of the projects proposed under the smart cities schemes have been in the pipeline for a much longer time. They are largely infrastructure and redevelopment projects that are now being funded through the smart cities budgets.
3. Although these projects are presented as part of the Smart Cities initiative, the digital aspect of these are minimal. Some of these were proposed with add-on digital technologies such as public wifi or real-time bus timetabling. However, the physical infrastructure delivery has been fraught and most interviews with participants reveal low awareness of the digital element.
4. The sites selected for these planned interventions are almost invariably the prime real estate and central locations in the city, which makes the proposals challenging to implement. This is significant in tothe Area Based Development model of the mission guidelines that calls for specific areas to be developed as replicable examples to be followed in the rest of the city.
5. The Pan-city aspect of the projects such as Command and Control Centres, are also challenging to implement lack of skills, capacity and hardware/software development in integrating and centralising digital and physical infrastructures.
6. Asset mapping exercises in the three cities have revealed that the communities at each of the project sites have a distinct imagination of the place and the assets it carries, that may diverge from the vision of the smart city proposal.
Exploitation Route The findings can be taken forward by the urban municipalities as well as private sector partners in improving their services and platforms for the smart city initiatives.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://www.smartsmallcity.com
 
Description The research done in this project aims to address the following four SDGs: SDG 1 (No Poverty) - Many of the participants of this research represent precariously self-employed individuals who face a threat to their incomes and livelihoods due to exclusionary urban planning. The project provides opportunities for them to articulate their needs and make urban planning more inclusive. SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) - The research done in this proejct maps the physical and social infrastructure available to ordinary citizens and the gaps in their ability to access these. It further investigates how digital infrastructure can be put to inclusive use. These findings will enable residents of the cities and future planners to innovate more effectively. SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) - The research opens a dialogue between citizens and planners on the issue of social and economic sustainability. The historical perspective adopted in the project makes visible the faultlines of planning and paves the way for creating more sustainable urban futures. SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) - The project brings together a variety of stakeholder groups such as Resident Welfare Associations, municipalities, smart city consultants, elected representatives, trade unions, and NGOs to faciliate a participatory dialogue. While the project is not yet completed and therefore too early to say, the findings will enable urban planners and policy makers to design better informed interventions for an inclusive and sustainable urban transformation. Key communities identified as stakeholders in smart city projects include traders, vendors, and business owners who face challenges of informality, eviction, and social precarity. The inclusion of these community perspectives into the project outputs will facilitate more inclusive forms of urbanization and therefore welfare and development. The team has been fostering relationships with municipal officials and smart city consultants to act as a conduit between them and the community.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Digitising the periphery: Co-producing a toolkit for digital democracy and inclusive urbanisation
Amount £49,967 (GBP)
Funding ID TGC\200118 
Organisation The British Academy 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2021 
End 02/2023
 
Description ERC Advanced Grant
Amount € 2,490,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 01/2022 
End 12/2026
 
Title Community Asset Mapping workshop, 13 November 2018 
Description Community asset mapping (CAM) is a participatory planning tool central to the objective of this research to understand the lived experience of Smart City redevelopment in India (see http://comparativeassetmapping.org, for examples). This workshop was led by CAM trainers Katerina Alexiou and Theodore Zamenopoulos (Open University), with a focus on developing the team's capacity to adapt and facilitate CAM workshops in field sites in Naishik, Jalandhar and Shimla. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We are in the process of developing the CAM process for use in the field in 2019. 
URL http://comparativeassetmapping.org
 
Title Map my Assets 
Description Building on a previous ESRC funded mobile application 'Map my Community' - this modified version 'Map my Assets' - has been designed to collect data on existing city and neighbourhood assets. Project participants are able to 'check-in' at locations in their neighbourhood to collect data on infrastructure and assets (both tangible and intangible) which are of value to them and comment on their experiences of change. This process will highlight how participants experience and value existing assets as well as making them visible to urban planners and city stakeholders. Participants will voice record their answers to questions and these will be geotagged. This will enable the mobile app data to be mapped and layered with our other project data. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The tool will be launched for use within the project in April 2019 so no impacts as yet. 
 
Description Partnership with IEG, Delhi and IISER, Mohali 
Organisation Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a formal research partnership between PI institution (King's College London) and CoI institutions (Birkbeck and Birmingham) to work together with Indian institutions to deliver the project.
Collaborator Contribution This is a partnership with two academic institutions in India - a DAC country, which was part of the original application. The total contribution of INR 2,494,745 is made by ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Sciences Research) under the Newton scheme. the funding is provided to IEG, Delhi and IISER, Mohali to work with UK PI and CoIs to deliver the objectives of the project. The Indian PI is Prof. Sanjay Srivastava from IEG, Delhi and CoI is Dr Ritajyoti Bandopadhyay from IISER, Mohali. They are equal partners with the UK institutions.
Impact We held the project inception workshop on 1 August 2018 in London, which was attended by audiences from London and India. No other outputs yet. Project still ongoing.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Partnership with IEG, Delhi and IISER, Mohali 
Organisation Institute of Economic Growth
Department Sociology
Country India 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This is a formal research partnership between PI institution (King's College London) and CoI institutions (Birkbeck and Birmingham) to work together with Indian institutions to deliver the project.
Collaborator Contribution This is a partnership with two academic institutions in India - a DAC country, which was part of the original application. The total contribution of INR 2,494,745 is made by ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Sciences Research) under the Newton scheme. the funding is provided to IEG, Delhi and IISER, Mohali to work with UK PI and CoIs to deliver the objectives of the project. The Indian PI is Prof. Sanjay Srivastava from IEG, Delhi and CoI is Dr Ritajyoti Bandopadhyay from IISER, Mohali. They are equal partners with the UK institutions.
Impact We held the project inception workshop on 1 August 2018 in London, which was attended by audiences from London and India. No other outputs yet. Project still ongoing.
Start Year 2018
 
Description (Re)thinking Smart, (Re)building Scale in a Digital Urban Age 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Academics and postgraduate students attended the conference which sparked interesting questions and debates on the themes of scale, technology and governance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.buildingcentre.co.uk/whats_on/events/rethinking-smart-rebuilding-scale-in-a-digital-urba...
 
Description Article published in Citizen Matters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Datta published her article in Citizen Matters, an independent news media focused on cities and citizens, with insightful reporting on critical issues, ideas and solutions to India's urban issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://citizenmatters.in/jalandhar-smart-city-promises-fail-to-attract-youth-13829
 
Description Blog: Fast Urbanism: Between Speed, Time and Urban Futures 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Fast Urbanism: Between Speed, Time and Urban Futures, Transient Cities Blog
This blog post consists of the script of the inaugural lecture of Prof. Dr. Ayona Datta at the University College London (UCL).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.transient-spaces.org/blog-fast-urbanism-between-speed-time-and-urban-futures/
 
Description Four blogs on Shimla, Jalandhar and Nashik smart city projects published on the project website. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Wrote a series of four blogs critiquing the smart city projects in Shimla, Nashik, and Jalandhar.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.smartsmallcity.com/blog
 
Description Keynote in Artepolis-8 International conference, Bandung, Indonesia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Keynotes in Artepolis International conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://youtu.be/6Fa7lZORp5M
 
Description Keynote: Bartlett International Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This lecture was part of the annual PhD Research Projects conference and brings together the conference's five respondents, Irene Cheng, Amy Kulper, Huda Tayob, Phil Ayres and Ayona Datta. Variously located in the United States, in South Africa and across Europe, they will discuss the topic of "distance." Each speaker will contribute specific thoughts on their own response to the theme of "distance" in relation to their work and teaching practices, reflecting on a broad range of temporal and spatial forms of distance in our research at the moment, ranging from both physical and conceptual distance to different kinds of critical distance as well as shifting relations between the past, present and future (e.g. how dimensions of the past may have suddenly been activated in this present moment).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/architecture/events/2021/feb/phd-conference-bartlett-international-le...
 
Description Panelist: IHC Global Urban Thinkers Campus, New York, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The panel considered drivers and strategies for making a people-centered smart city with a focus on the urban experiences and concerns of women. Our panel experts, coupled with audience participation, will help us consider: is technology neutral? Whose voices count when designing a smart city? What does a smart city look like from a gender perspective? How can we make inclusiveness, SDG 11, and the NUA a fundament of the deployment of frontier technology?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ihcglobal.org/2020/10/02/urban-thinkers-campus/
 
Description Panellist: Futurium Plenary, Berlin Future Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Futurium Plenary at the Berlin Future Institute. under the banner of Urbane Welten TV: Who and what makes the city?
Futurium is a House of Futures. Here, everything revolves around the question: how do we want to live? In the exhibition, visitors can discover many possible futures; in the Forum, they can take part in open discussions; and, in the Futurium Lab, they can try out their own ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://youtu.be/vN_Mpe9M_Dg
 
Description Predictive Cities, Colloquium and Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Predictive Cities, a colloquium and podcast, 01 July 2021, featured the artist Manu Luksch in conversation with Melissa Butcher, Sarah Keenan, & Joel McKim (Birkbeck, University of London). The conversation centred on Manu's latest interactive virtual reality work, Predictive Cities, drawing in discussion on 'smart cities' and the use of technology in urban planning and augmented reality. Prof Butcher used the Indian cities in the Learning from Small Cities project as case studies. The podcast was part of a series for Mediapolis: a journal of cities and culture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.mediapolisjournal.com/2021/09/events-episode-01-predictive-cities/
 
Description Public lecture [virtual] 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited to #CityConversations, a #WebPolicyTalk series by the #IMPRI Center for Habitat, Urban, and Regional Studies (CHURS)
Presented pubic lecture on 'Regional Futures and the Dynamics of Digitalisation-as-Urbanisation' drawing upon work in this project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.impriindia.com/event/regional-futures/
 
Description Research Seminars in Taiwan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Expert advisor on a research programme funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan. As part of this the PI visited National Taiwan University, National Taipei University and the Taipei Municipality's Smart City Department. Delivered a series of lectures and workshops with Taiwanese scholars, policymakers and postgraduate students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description UN-Habitat World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Datta was invited by UN-Habitat to speak at their Dialogues plenary session in the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi (10-13 February 2020).
She was also invited to speak at two other networking sessions organised by UK GCRF and New York based global consultancy IHC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://wuf.unhabitat.org/wuf10-programme/speakers/prof-ayona-datta