A smart equivocation: Co-laboration and subsidiarity in a smart city consortium

Ignacio Farías, Claudia Mendes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This chapter utilizes the notion of equivocation to describe complex ecologies of cooperation shaping urban governance in and around the smart city, as articulating incommensurable worlds. Equivocations are a central clue to rethink our understanding of collaborative innovation processes from one being based on univocal translations to one based on ontological multiplicity. The chapter demonstrates how equivocations around the notion of ‘smart city’ and the so-called city intelligence platform (CIP) shape the partnership between Siemens and the city administration, leading to a relationship of ‘co-laboration’, that is, joint but separate work. It argues that equivocations surrounding the goals of two urban renewal programmes are crucial to inverting the relationship of the city and the city-owned company running these programmes, from one of top-down delegation to one of subsidiarity. Finally, the chapter characterises the specific type of equivocations that hold Smarter Together.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInside Smart Cities
Subtitle of host publicationPlace, Politics and Urban Innovation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781351166195
ISBN (Print)9780815348672
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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