Smart Urban Governance for More-than-Human Future(s)

Project dates: 24/02/2020 - 24/02/2023

Why it matters

Given the accelerating effects of environmental change, biodiversity loss, and rapid urbanisation, the concept of more-than-human cities has recently garnered much interest. However, urban governance practices in smart cities are still primarily driven by neoliberal and technocratic economic growth agendas. More-than-Human Future(s) of Smart Urban Governance is a critical response to technocratic, human-centred, and capitalist modes of smart urban governance in Brisbane, Australia.


Project Overview

The study critically reviews the selective blindness and ethical repercussions of a technocratic approach to smart urban governance, which largely reinforces human exceptionalism whilst omitting our entanglements with nature. Drawing on a diversity of more-than-human perspectives across triad of data-driven technologies, cities, and politics, this study reveals the untapped potential of more-than-human approaches in smart urban governance.

The project is part of the More-than-Human Futures Research Group in the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice.


Project Outcomes

Publications

Sheikh, Hira, Foth, Marcus, & Mitchell, Peta (2022) (Re)imagining the ibis: Multispecies future(s), smart urban governance, and the digital environmental humanities. In Travis, Charles, Dixon, Deborah P., Bergmann, Luke, Legg, Robert, & Crampsie, Arlene (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of the Digital Environmental Humanities. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 490-515.

Sheikh, Hira, Foth, Marcus, & Mitchell, Peta (2022) More-than-human city-region foresight: multispecies entanglements in regional governance and planning. Regional Studies.

Sheikh, Hira & Gonsalves, Kavita (2020) Rings, Dance and Earwax: What Can Multispecies Data Teach Humans? Sydney Environment Institute, 21 September 2020.

Events:

Exhibitions

  • Smart Urban Governance for More-than-Human Future(s) (2022). The Block, Queensland University of Technology.
    Smart Urban Governance for More-than-Human Future(s) (2022). Webb Gallery, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

Workshops

  • Multispecies Urban Politics with Bees, Birds, and Trees (2022). Speaker at Speaking about the humans. Animal perspectives on the multispecies world, University of Amsterdam.
  • Smart Urban Governance for More-than-human Future(s) (2021). Speaker at NENA Annual Conference: Growing a Wellbeing Economy for Australia, NENA Brisbane Hub, QUT Design Lab, Australian Earth Laws Alliance, the Greenprints Initiative, and Future Dreaming Australia.
  • Smart Urban Governance for More-than-human Future(s) (2021). Speaker at Regen Brisbane/Meeanjin, NENA Brisbane Hub, QUT Design Lab, Australian Earth Laws Alliance, the Greenprints Initiative, and Future Dreaming Australia.

Conferences

  • A Speculative Approach to More-than-Human City Governance: Desirable Future (s) of Biodiversity (2021). Speaker at Witnessing & Worlding Beyond the Human, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • A Speculative Approach to More-than-Human City Governance: Desirable Future (s) of Biodiversity (2021). Speaker at Digital Ecologies Conference, University of Cambridge.
  • More-than-Human Smart Urban Governance via Speculative Media Interfaces (2020). Speaker at MAB Online Meetup | Futures Implied: new horizons in Media Architecture, Media Architecture Biennale, The Mobile City and Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA).

Symposiums

  • Smart Urban Governance for More-than-Human Future(s) (2021). Speaker at Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures, QUT Design Lab & More-than-Human Futures Research Group.
  • Multispecies Speculative Future(s) of Smart Urban Ecologies (2021). Panel member at More Just, More Sustainable Futures: Artistic Research Symposium for PhD Students: Multiple Ecologies, Diverse Ontologies, University of Plymouth.
  • Imaginaries of Biodiversity Conservation: Limitations and Opportunities Smart Urban Governance for More-than-Human Future(s) (2022). Speaker at The Anthrozoology Symposium.

Showcases

  • Smart Urban Governance for More-than-human Future(s) (2021). Speaker at Conversations at the Cube QUT Sustainability Week, Queensland University of Technology.
    Smart Urban Governance for More-than-human Future(s) (2022). Speaker at More-than-Human Maker Symposium & Showcase, Queensland University of Technology.
    Smart Urban Governance for More-than-human Future(s) (2022). Speaker at DMRC Showcase, Queensland University of Technology.

Project Team

Chief Investigator

Hira Sheikh

Supervisors:

Principal supervisor: Prof Marcus Foth
Associate Supervisor: A/Prof Peta Mitchell

Artist Collaborators:

Bella Deary
Lowana-Skye Davies
Merinda Davies

Workshop Collaborators:

NENA Brisbane Hub
QUT Design Lab
Australian Earth Laws Alliance
Greenprints Initiative
Future Dreaming Australia