Urban Automation and Robotics
Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and automation are increasingly being applied in the infrastructure, management and policing of cities for public and private benefit. There are opportunities to support urban living, manage services more efficiently and respond to ecological turbulence but also major concerns about privacy, safety, trust, increased social control and racial profiling.
The Urban Institute is at the forefront of international research on the restructuring of cities through new technologies of automation and its implications for urban social life.
Our research is global in scope, with on-going empirical research in the UK, North America, Australia and Asia.
- How might urban automation and robotics be understood as a distinctive socio-technical system?
- What are the implications, opportunities and challenges for cities?
- What sorts of governance and regulatory frameworks are needed to respond to the new era of urban robotics and automation?
Theme Lead: Aidan While
UI members: Simon Marvin | Bei Chen
Visitors: Desiree Fields | Pauline McGuirk | Noor Ahmad Basri | Rachel Macrorie | Andy Lockhart Mateja Kovacic
- Urban Robotic Experiments
- Platform Urbanism
- Urban Automation and Automated Cities
- Knowledge Politics and Smart Urbanism
- Drones, Robotics and Development
- Living Labs
- Beyond Smart Cities
- Daily Life, Digital Technologies and Energy Demand
- Journal articles
- Lockhart, A., While, A., Marvin, S., Kovacic, M., Odendaal, N and Alexander, C. (2021) Making space for drones: The contested reregulation of airspace in Tanzania and Rwanda. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 1-16. DOI, doi.org/10.1111/tran.12448
- Chan B, Marvin S and While A (2020) Containing COVID-19 in China: AI and the robotic restructuring of future cities. Dialogues in Human Geography 10(2), 238-241.
- While A, Marvin S and Kovacic M (2020) Urban robotic experimentation: San Francisco, Tokyo and Dubai. Urban Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0042098020917790
- Fields D, Bissell D and Macrorie R (2020) Platform Methods: studying platform urbanism outside the black box. Urban Geography, 41(3): 462-268.
- Macrorie R, Marvin S, and While A (2019) Robotics and Automation in the city: A research agenda. Urban Geography, DOI, 10.1080/02723638.2019.1698868.
- Kovacic M (2019) Society 5.0: Japan’s Super Smart Society as a Global Model. ‘La sociedad japonesa superinteligente como modelo global’ La Vanguardia.
- de Hoop E, van Oers L, Becker S, Macrorie R, Späeth P, Astola M, Boon W (2019). Smart as a global vision? Exploring smart in local district development projects Architecture and Culture, 7(2): 1-19.
- Macrorie R and Marvin S (2019) Bifurcated Urban Integration: The selective dis- and re-assembly of infrastructures. Urban Studies, 56(11): 2207-2224.
- Kovacic M (2018) The making of national robot history in Japan: monozukuri, enculturation and cultural lineage of robots. Critical Asian Studies 50(4): 572-590.
- Marvin, S and Luque-Ayala, A (2018) Urban Operating Systems: Diagramming the City, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 41(1): 84–103.
- Schindler. S. and Marvin, S. (2018) Constructing a universal logic of urban control? City, 22(2): 298-307.
- Lockhart A and Marvin S (2019) Microclimates of automated urban reproduction: The limits of automating environmental control. Antipode 52(3): 637-659.
- Taylor Buck N & While A (2017) Competitive urbanism and the limits to smart city innovation: The UK Future Cities initiative. Urban Studies, 54(2): 501-519.
- Foulds C, Robinson RAV, Macrorie R (2017) Energy monitoring as a practice: Investigating use of the iMeasure online energy feedback tool, Energy Policy, 104: 194-202
- Luque-Ayala A and Marvin S (2015) The maintenance of urban circulation: An operational logic of infrastructural control. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 34(2): 19-208.
- Luque-Ayala, A. and Marvin, S. (2015) Developing a Critical Understanding of Smart Urbanism? Urban Studies, 52(12) 2105-2116.
- Marvin, S, Rutherford, J. Understanding the socio-technical hybridisation of indoor–outdoor relations: Emergent, merged, and stretched. Area. 2021; 00: 1– 10
- Luque-Ayala and Marvin S. (Dec 2020) Urban Operating Systems: Producing the Computational City. MIT Press.
- Marvin S, Bulkeley H, Mai L, McCormick K, Voytenko Palgan Y eds. (2018a) Urban Living Labs: Experimenting with City Futures. London: Routledge.
- Marvin S, Luque-Ayala A and McFarlane C eds. (2016). Smart urbanism: Utopian vision or false dawn? London: Routledge.
- Book chapters
- De Hoop E, Smith A, Boon W, Macrorie R, Marvin S, & Raven R (2018) Smart urbanism in Barcelona: A knowledge politics perspective. In: Stissing Jensen J, Spaeth P and Cashmere M (eds.) The Politics of Urban Sustainability Transitions: Knowledge, Power and Governance. Chapter 3. ISBN: 9781138479654
- Marvin, S. (2021) The global urban condition and politics thermal metabolics - the chilling prospect of killer heat. In: M. Lancione and C. McFarlane (eds) Global Urbanism – knowledge, power and the city, Oxford: Routledge.
- Reports and other outputs
- Macrorie R (2018) Three ‘living labs’ that show how autonomous robots are changing cities, The Independent, 21 July 2018.
- Marvin, S. Lockhart, A., While, A., Marvin, S., Kovacic, M., Odendaal, N. and Alexander, C. (2019) Drones/Robotics and Development Priorities in Africa. British Academy Project Final Report.
- Marvin S, While A, Kovacic M, Lockhart A, Macrorie R (2018) Urban Robotics and Automation: Critical challenges, international experiments and transferable lessons for the UK, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK RAS) Network White papers. ISSN: 2398-4414.
- Kovacic M (2018) Robot cities: three urban prototypes for future living. The Conversation, 10 April 2018.
- Marvin S and Rutherford J (2017) Artificial environments are turning the world outside in, but that’s no way to save the planet. The Independent, 15 July 2017.
- Marvin, S. (2021) Urban Climate Control. City Road Podcast, University of Sydney.