Urban Clouds – Abstracts and Bios


Adam Greenfield:

Another City is Possible:

Networked urbanism from above and below.

The idea of IT driven urban renewal enjoys considerable intellectual currency at the moment in the popular media as well as conversations in architecture, urban planning, and local government. In this talk, Adam Greenfield will argue that these discourses offer a potentially authoritarian vision of cities under centralized, computational surveillance and control: overplanned, over-determined, and driven by the needs of enterprise. What might some more fruitful alternatives look like? How can we design urban technology that responds to our needs, demands, and desires? Above all, how might we inscribe a robust conception of the right to the city in the technological systems that will do so much to define urban experience in the twenty-first century?


Adam Greenfield is founder and managing director of design practice Urbanscale, Senior Urban Fellow at LSE Cities in London, and author most recently of “Against the smart city”


Barbara Saringer-Bory:

Urban Development in the Information Age 

Issues, Elements, Perspectives

What are cities expecting to achieve through informatization and what is the role of information technology in these plans? The presentation will critically review current concepts of sustainable urban development and focus on IT systems which are being deployed, primarily in the area of mobility and energy.


Barbara Saringer-Bory completed her studies in urban and regional planning at TU Wien. After working as an urban designer in Rotterdam (NL), she returned to Austria and has since managed projects ranging from real restate to regional development. Since 2008, she has been working for the Austrian Institute for Spatial Planning on issues of urban development and smart cities


Daiva Jakutyte-Walangitang:

The Sustainable City as a Flexible Framework?

Between the poles of local urban development and supra-regional networks.

The presentation looks at the interelations between the increasing global networking- and development dynamics and the impact of locally anchored aspects of sustainability. On the one hand, cities are understood as heterogenous reference systems and their development in regard to sustainability, energy efficiency und – supply as part of a universal development dynamics, on the other hand the meaning of specific local urban situations is embedded in this context.


Urbanistics, sustainable city planning, urban development and architecture as well as the development of urban climate protection concepts are the fields of work in which Daiva Jakutyte-Walangitang has acquired professional expertise. Since May 2011 she has been involved in Austrian, European and global projects at the Energy department of AIT. Daiva holds a Master of Science in European Urbanistics (Bauhaus University Weimar) and a graduate degree for architectural engineering (University of applied Sciences Frankfurt).


Thomas Grüter

The Inevitable End of the Internet and the Fall of the Information Society

The Internet and the infrastructures that depend on it are unstable in the long run. The presentation will discuss the most critical points of failure and the dangers they pose for our way of living. Without corrective measures, the information society will collapse within this century.


Thomas Grüter is a physician, scientist and non-fiction author. He has been working as a software entrepreneur for more than twenty years and has critically observed the development of the Internet since its beginning. He lives and works in Münster, Germany.


Marleen Stikker

Technologies for the People?

A bottom-up approach to urban informatisation

This talk focuses on bottom-up answers to digital civil rights and new formats of citizen participation. Urban social innovation offered by the Open Design and Creative Commons movement include the Fair Meter Initiative, which has launched a smart energy meter implementing social standards of data protection.


Marleen Stikker is director and founder of Amsterdam’s Waag Society, a research institute for creative technologies, which carries out educaton and social innovation projects, and has also launched successful products like the Fairphone, the first ethically and sustainably produced smartphone. In 1994, she was founder of the pioneering project “De Digitale Stad” Amsterdam.


Christoph Laimer

Right to the City.

The other vision of an urban society.

The smart city is a top-down project for the future of the city, based on technologically and commercially viable products and procedures. Following a completely different approach under the slogan of a “right to the city”, a global network of initiatives has emerged. Their vision of an urban society puts people and their lives at the center of urban development.


Christoph Laimer is head of dérive – the association for urban research, founder and editor in chief of the magazine for critical urban research – dérive and co-curator of urbanize! International festival of urban explorations. His formal education is in political science and philosophy.


Ina Homeier:

Ina Homeier is an architect and urban planner. As Smart City Wien project manager at the City of Vienna’s Municipal Department for Urban Development and Planning (MA18) she is responsible for the development of the Smart City Wien Framework Strategy and for its implementation within the Urban planning area.


 Oliver Schuerer

Oliver Schürer, Senior Scientist Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. is Author, Curator, Editor, and Senior Scientist at the Department of Architecture Theory at Vienna University of Technology. He did numerous research projects, installations, discourse events, and international publications on technology and media in Architecture. His long-term research is ‘Automatisms in Architecture’.


Elke Rauth

Elke Rauth is deputy head of dérive – the association for urban research, editor of dérive, magazine for critical urban research – dérive and co-curator of urbanize! International festival of urban explorations. She is on the editorial board of Eurozine and formally trained in communication science, film- and media science, and political science. She holds a postgraduate degree in cultural management.


Felix Stalder

Felix Stalder is a Professor for Digital Culture at the Zurich University of the Arts, a senior researcher at the World Information Institute in Vienna and a moderator of nettime, a critical nexus of the discourse on net culture, since 1995. His work focuses on the intersection of cultural, political and technological dynamics, in particular on new modes of commons-based production, copyright, news spatial patterns, and transformation of subjectivity. The recent publications, talks and interviews are available at felix.openflows.com


Konrad Becker

Konrad Becker is an interdisciplinary researcher and artist. Director of World-Information.Net, a cultural intelligence agency, he is associated with several renown projects of advanced cultural practice including Public Netbase (1994 to 2006). Initiating many international conferences and exhibitions on technology, arts and culture he has published a large number of audiovisual productions, articles and books in several languages. A pioneering hypermedia wizard, he has been active in electronic media as an artist, author, composer as well as curator, producer and organizer.