Hira Sheikh

Hira is an interdisciplinary researcher doing her PhD with the Urban Informatics Research Group at the QUT Design Lab and Digital Media Research Centre. She is an architect and an urban design theorist by background. Her research focuses on more-than-human smart urban governance. Before commencing her PhD, she worked as an urban planning consultant at The United Nations Development Programme and as a Research Assistant with [urban interfaces] at Utrecht University. 

PhD Abstract
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. 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 a triad of data-driven technologies, cities, and politics, this study reveals the untapped potential of more-than-human approaches in smart urban governance.

Projects (Chief investigator)