John Aron Sandell

Image of John Aron Sandell
Norwegian version of this page
Visiting address Moltke Moes vei 31 Harriet Holters hus 0851 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1096 Blindern 0317 Oslo
Other affiliations Bilagslønnede

Academic interests

  • Urban Political Economy
  • Critical Theory
  • Technology
  • Smart Cities

Higher Education and Employment History

  • MA in Geography (2015) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MSc in Human Geography (2012) University of Lund, including a semester long Erasmus internship at the MOSPUS (Space, Place, Mobility, and Urban Studies) research group at Roskilde University
  • BA in Social Sciences (2010) Stockholm University
  • Held several positions as teaching assistant (UNC-CH, Lund) and research assistant (Lund) from 2010-2015.

Cooperation and Networks

  • I am a member of the UiO Energy PhD Network

Ongoing research

My PhD project is broadly concerned with the social implications of contemporary smart city policies. Through an ethnographic study of the ongoing Smart London initiative, I seek to map and study the networks, agents, institutions, discourses, and technologies that are involved in making a smart city happen. I’m thus interested in how and where visions of smart cities are negotiated and translated into practiced smart urbanism. More specifically, I focus on the formation of what I call ways of knowing, which I argue provide a key foundation for claims to ‘better’ or ‘smarter’ solutions to urban problem. What assemblages constitute these ways of knowing, how and where are they formed, what interests are served by these ‘smart’ urban epistemologies, and what interests might they foreclose upon or conceal?  By offering one of the first extended empirical investigations of an “actually existing smart city,“ this project aims to unpack the politics of production of smart urbanism,“ and what they might imply for democracy and citizenship in a contemporary world of cities.


Tags: Smart City, Urban politics, Knowledge, ICTs, London, Human Geography


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Published Nov. 2, 2015 10:55 AM - Last modified Feb. 9, 2018 10:41 AM