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In recent years, the Smart City has become a very popular concept amongst policymakers
and urban planners. However, at the same time as new urban Smart interventions are being designed and applied, insufficient attention has been paid to how these strategies are inserted into the wider political economy and, in particular, the political ecology of urban transformation.
Therefore, in this presentation the authors (Hug March and Ramon Ribera-Fumaz) critically explore the implementation of the Smart City, tracing how the “environment” and environmental concerns have become an organising principle in Barcelona’s Smart City strategy. Through an urban political ecology prism they aim to critically reflect upon the contradictions of the currently existing Smart City in Barcelona and
how Smart discourses and practices might be intentionally or unintentionally mobilised in
ways that serve to depoliticise urban redevelopment and environmental management. The
presentation stresses the need to repoliticize the debates on the Smart City and put citizens back at the centre of the urban debate.