ICT-ENSURE Information System on Literature in the Field of ICT for Environmental Sustainability

ICT-ENSURE Information System on Literature in the Field of ICT for Environmental Sustainability ICT-ENSURE Information System on Literature in the Field of ICT for Environmental Sustainability European Commission European Commission CORDIS Seventh Framework Programme KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Graz University of Technology, Knowledge Management Institute International Society for Environmental Protection
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ICT practices in smart sustainable cities - In the intersection of technological solutions and practices of everyday life

Authors
Rivera, Miriam Börjesson (Division of Environmental Strategies Research)
Search for Miriam Börjesson Rivera in Research Programmes Information System
Eriksson, Elina (School of Computer Science and Communication, Centre for Sustainable Communications, KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Search for Elina Eriksson in Research Programmes Information System
Wangel, Josefin (Division of Environmental Strategies Research)
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Chapter ConverStation III
Volume EnviroInfo & ICT4S, Conference Proceedings (Part 1)
Conference Building the knowledge base for environmental action and sustainability
Copenhagen, 2015
Year 2015
Abstract of the Article
ICT, information and communications technology, has radically transformed our world and is now an inextricable part of what it means to live a normal life as a citizen, at least in high income countries. This has led to a situation where ICT has become so taken for granted that it has lost its visibility. While this development to a large extent has been driven by business opportunities, there is now also an increasing recognition of ICT as a possible solution to sustainability problems. There are however two major pitfalls of using ICT as a tool for sustainability that need to be addressed for its potentials to be realized. The first pitfall is environmental impacts of ICT, as well as the risk of lock-in effects and an increasing vulnerability. The second pitfall concerns the understanding of ICT as a neutral solution, rather than recognizing that ICT, as all technology, carries implicit values. Taken together, these two pitfalls imply a need for replacing the atomized and technobiased understandings of ICT with an approach that recognize the larger socio-material, political and economic structure in which ICT is (thought to be) part. With the aim of contributing to such a shift, this paper proposes a practice-oriented perspective in order to explore the potential of ICT to contribute to sustainability, using the smart sustainable city discourse as our example. We define the concept ICT practices and discuss it from an interdisciplinary perspective and in relation to the sustainable smart city. We argue that by using ICT practices as a conceptual starting-point for analysis, both the technological and the socio-cultural components of the smart sustainable city discourse can become elicited, enabling a more explicit analysis of what assumptions this discourse rests on.
Pages 317 - 324
Additional Information 10.2991/ict4s-env-15.2015.36
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