Urban ARC 2018 | City and Technology
IIHS Annual Research Conference, 11~13 Jan, 2018


The second edition of Urban ARC, the annual research conference at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) will be held from 11 – 13 January 2018, at the IIHS Bangalore City Campus. The theme for 2018 edition is ‘City and Technology’.

The call for sessions emphasises the wide-ranging nature of both “city” and “technology”. The conference aims to use diverse disciplinary and methodological lenses to re-examine, re-imagine, and re-situate our understandings of these terms.

Technology has always played a significant role in the ways societies have evolved. This is true in the context of cities as well. Cities, especially in the Global South, are spaces where the promise of technology is tested against the backdrop of the rapid urbanisation. A recent UNCTAD report emphasized the role of science, technology and innovation in the process of urbanisation, particularly if we are to ensure it is sustainable and equitable[1]. Recent cases have highlighted ways in which technology can help reimagine cities themselves (such as in Songdo International City, South Korea and Masdar City, UAE) or sector specific process in existing cities (Sustainable Transportation in Ahmedabad). Our understandings of these processes have ranged from the celebratory to the critical.

The narratives of celebration and critique emerging at the intersections of ‘Technology’ and ‘City’ present a unique moment for urban scholars. The conference aims to unpack the promises and pitfalls of technological interventions in urban spaces by examining a wide-range of intersections – sectoral, disciplinary, methodological and geographic, and offers a space for conversations on theoretical and methodological research interventions across disciplinary silos. Scholars developing new knowledge about cities will have to critically examine the role of technology in influencing urban transformations, which are often entwined with ideas and narratives of modernisation.

We invite scholars, researchers, and practitioners who work on these themes to submit panel proposals that engage with the role of technology in urban transformation, and in doing so, De/Re-center technology in the evolution of the City.

Some possible threads of inquiry are:

  • Social and cultural transformations in the city driven by technology
  • History and historiographies of the ‘technological city’
  • Media/communication and representations in/of the city
  • Data and the city
  • Methods and methodologies of understanding technology and the city
  • Architecture/Design/Planning and the city
  • Technology policy and the city
  • Lived experiences at the intersections of the city and technology
  • Alternate technological spaces created outside of plan and policy

These threads of investigation are not exhaustive. Rather, they are an illustration of the various ways in which the larger thematic of the ‘City and Technology’ can be approached.

For example, panels can consist of presentations which deal with:

  • The suitability of engineering design in city planning
  • Cultural representations of technology in the narratives of modern human settlements.
  • The promise of networked societies
  • Questions of equity in digital urban spaces
  • The role of technology in community mobilization
  • The role of media in policy making

While the constituent papers will address the intersection of City and Technology from various disciplinary spaces, the emphasis of the conference will be on cross-disciplinary and inter-sectoral approaches. The length of each panel/session will be 90 minutes with 4-5 papers and will have a designated scholar who will frame the panel and serve as chair.

Dates and Procedures:
Submissions: Submission are now open for panels as well as individual papers. Deadline midnight 10 November 2017. All panel proposals submissions or individual paper submissions will have to be submitted online here.

Researchers whose abstracts have been selected for presentation at Urban ARC 2018 will be informed of the same by 30 November 2017 via email.

Participants (either as part of a panel or as individual presenters) must ensure that copies of papers must be submitted to the conference organisers by midnight 5 January 2018.
Urban ARC 2018 will take place from 11 to 13 January 2018.

Urban ARC 2018 will be held at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements’ Bangalore City Campus (BCC), 2nd Main Road, Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru – 560 080.

Financial Support:
Limited funding is available for early-career researchers who require financial support. Applicants who wish to avail of this must indicate so while filling in the relevant section in their application.

Additional Events:
In addition to the panel presentations, Urban ARC 2018 will also host a set of public events including book reviews, city walks, and art exhibitions. More details about these events will be made available in due time.

About the Indian Institute for Human Settlements:
The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements. More details about IIHS, its research, practice, and work can be found at iihs.co.in.

Copyright(s): All copyright(s) for original work will lie with the author. IIHS will use material only with prior permission.

[1] United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2015) Science Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Urbanization. New York and Geneva. http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/dtlstict2014d2_en.pdf


The format of the conference will be as follows:

Registration begins at 9 am 11 January 2018 12 January 2018 13 January 2018
Session 1:

9:30 – 11:00

Paper presentations Paper presentations Paper presentations
Break: 11:00 to 11:30
Session 2:

11:30 – 1:00

Paper presentations Paper presentations Paper presentations
Lunch: 1:00 to 2:30
Session 3:

2:30 – 4:00

Paper presentations Paper presentations Invited Panel
Break: 4:00 to 4:30
Session 4:

4:30 – 6:00

Invited Panel Paper presentations Conference ends at 4:30 pm

In addition to the panels and paper presentations, Urban ARC 2018 will feature additional events including special curated panels and art events. Additional information on special events are forthcoming.  Please email research@iihs.ac.in to get regular updates.

Discounted rates can be availed at the following area hotels (subject to availability). Please indicated participation at Urban ARC – Research Conference at IIHS for discounts.

Plot no: 104/1 RV Layout,
Off Sankey Road,
Opp. Palace Grounds,
Kumara Park West Extension,
Bangalore –560020

Tel: 80 4666 8888
Fax: +91 80 4666 8890

Mail ID: reservations.tibangalore@goldentulipindia.com | sales1.tibangalore@goldentulipindia.com

Contact: Abraham Raju | +91 9148783356

# 137/7, 9th Main Road,
6th A Cross Street,
Sadashivnagar, Bangalore-560080

Ph: +91 80 40952266
Fax: +91 80 40952299

Mail ID: opsmgr@thechevronhotels.com | Reservations@thechevronhotels.com

Contact: Kishor R | + 91 9342017034