Event: Democratize the Digital City: past, present and future

Event: Democratize the Digital City: past, present and future

On June 4, the Democratizing the Digital City: past, present and future event will take place at the Canòdrom, with the participation of Dr Antonio Calleja-López, and Alejandra López Gabrielidis , both from the Technopolitics group of the IN3 / UOC.

The present is marked by  multiple  crises : ecological, economic, political, social … and cities seem to be at the center of them. The urban commons  model   is sometimes proposed as an alternative to the socio-economic and institutional framework that has brought us here. To do so, the urban commons must be understood not only as areas – be they spaces, services or resources – managed directly by the people who enjoy them, but also as radically democratic political deliberation and decision-making processes based on the collective control of infrastructures and their laws, the transformation of institutions, the proposal of a new system of social organization, as well as the reconfiguration of rights, collective needs and their satisfaction . In short, they can be understood as processes of democratization of the city from its base. In the collective work Codes Comunes Urbanos, which will be released digitally on the occasion of this debate, it is suggested that  common codes can consolidate and expand the practices of the urban commons. This concept refers to the normative tools that serve to regulate the common and that, at the same time, are generated in common.  

But the commons are not an abstract concept but social realities linked to historical events. An obvious example is that of the digital commons, which are prominently linked to the transition from industrial capitalism to a form of capitalism that has been termed informational, cognitive or, more recently, platform, data or of surveillance. The digital commons have emerged in connection with and antagonism to this paradigm, in which information, digital networks and the practices around them have become a key source of economic value and social power. While the current moment could be considered one of primitive digital enclosure and accumulation, or of co-optation of the digital commons by capitalism or statism,new forms of digital commons production have also built new modes of production and value that have the potential to transform the forces that shape digital cities and societies today. Approaches from public-community partnerships, recursive digital commons or intersectional and ecological criticism seem central to rebuilding digital cities in a democratic, just and feminist key , beyond the hopeless crisis horizon of the present. Developing public policies that point in that direction is, therefore, a present and future challenge. In recent years, Barcelona has made several advances in this regard. What policies have been put in place to address these issues? How and how much progress has been made in the democratization of the digital city? What are the references, perspectives and key steps for the future?

Session 1 | Digital Commons: Beyond the Open in the Informational and Platform Economy

From 11:00 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Session 2 | Public policies to democratize the digital city: past, present, future

From 12:40 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Interventions by  Francesca Bria (president of the Italian innovation Fund.),  Arnau Monterde   (director of Democratic Innovation of the Barcelona City Council) and  Michael Donaldson   (Commissioner of Technological Innovation, Electronic Administration and Good Governance of the Barcelona City Council).
  • Moderation by  Ana Mendez de Andés   (architect and urban planner).

More information about the event, here .