Designing with, not for

Gendering the Smart City // Ayona Datta, UCL

This Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project entitled Gendering the Smart City focuses on the necessity of including gender as a vector in imaginations of the Indian smart city. Professor Ayona Datta, based at University College London, is the PI on the project, which she hopes will raise awareness and act as a channel of advocacy to prompt rethinking of the smart city from the ground up rather than as a top-down approach. The project is in two phases: the first phase has been completed in Delhi, and Design Beku is currently leading the second phase which is in Bangalore.

We are interested in how to imagine intersectional equity in the city, and to this end invited a wide variety of stakeholders to participate in our workshop in August 2019 entitled “Envisioning Inclusive Alternatives to Smart Cities.” The event brought together researchers, representatives from civil society organisations, activists, students and other relevant stakeholders. The aim was to share experiences and learnings about how people marginalised by gender or other factors such as caste or disability, encounter the “smart city.” The workshop used participatory and co-design activities to encourage participants to have engaged discussions.