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ARL International Summer School 2020

Project completed
Rainer Danielzyk

„Smart cities and beyond”
in Luxembourg, has been cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic. Will probably be announced again in the coming years.

The ARL – Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (ARL – Akademie für Raumentwicklung in der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft) in cooperation with the University of Luxembourg is was organising the ARL International Summer School 2020 on “Smart cities and beyond”). Unfortunately, the Summer School has been cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic.


In recent years, “smart cities” has become a hegemonic concept in urban discourses, referring either to the broad set of technologies introduced towards steering infrastructure and the intelligent use of resources, or to improving the built environment by clever planning approaches. Firms, transfer agencies and municipalities seem to be working hard on the implementation of smart metres, energy efficiency, intelligent mobility, and the like. However, the scholarly literature on digital cities clearly demonstrates that there are externalities, uncertainties and risks associated with the hype and the rash introduction of ‘smartness’. Also, open discourses should not be confined to a narrow understanding of smart technologies. As it is yet rather unclear what these may mean in urban and regional contexts, the ARL International Summer School 2020 is particularly dedicated to discussing these questions. Our aim is to uncover the whole range of issues, potentials and risks that are associated with Smart Cities, to reconstruct related policy narratives and to link research and practice insofar as it concerns the design of robust strategies of urban and regional development.


The ARL – Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (ARL – Akademie für Raumentwicklung in der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft) realizes its International Summer School 2020 in cooperation with the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Luxembourg. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss conceptual, methodological, and empirical contributions that explore Smart Cities with a critical perspective, focusing on the relations between two major subjects of study: ‘smart-ness’, high-tech, Internet of Things, big data developments, infrastructure, and intellectual proper-ty on the one hand; and cities, urban regions and related governance processes and discourses on the other hand. The presentations and discussions should deliver insight into selected facets of smartness, relate these to the role they may play in/for urban and regional development, and ad-dress their consequences for spatial planning and development strategies.

Specifically, we invite contributions from early career researchers whose approaches and early-stage analyses demonstrate a particular interest in:

  • Applying the Smart City so far (municipal experiences),
  • Planning the Smart City in spatial regards,
  • Governance and policy dimensions, Smart City policy discourses,
  • The role of big corporations (such as Google, Amazon, Facebook etc.),
  • Smart City and the rise of platform economies,
  • Historical avenues of practicing ‘new technologies’ in urban and regional development,
  • Conceptual and methodological approaches to studying digital urbanism,
  • Smart technologies as drivers for community based economies/collaborative endeavours,
  • Urban governance and the social construction of cities.


  • Prof. Guy Baeten, PhD – Professor of Urban Studies at Malmö University and Director of the Institute for Urban Research, Malmö, Sweden
  • Assoc. Prof. Andrew Karvonen, PhD – Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies in the Division of Urban and Regional Studies at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Priv.-Doz. Dr. Bastian Lange – Lecturer at Leipzig University and founder of Multiplicities – Office for Spatial Development and Urban Planning, Berlin, Germany
  • Dr. Agnieszka Leszczynski – Assistant Professor in Geography at Western University, London, On-tario, Canada
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stijn Oosterlynck – Associate Professor in Urban Sociology at the University of Antwerp and Chair of the Centre for Research on Environmental and Social Change (CRESC) and the Antwerp Urban Studies Institute, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Prof. Dr. Liesbet Van Zoonen – Professor of Sociology and Dean of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands


Please see the call for applications for further information on the event, the terms of participation, and information on the application process.


For further questions, please contact Lena Greinke (, +49 (0)511 34842 34).