ReaLsMs (Real Smart Cities) is a 3 year Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action funded research project conducted under the auspices of RISE (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange). The overarching objective of the ReaLsMS is to develop and implement a critical perspective on the Smart City and Smart City discourses through critical humanities research and innovation.

ReaLsMs notes that our relationship to the city has changed radically with the development of the Smart City and Data City technologies. The use of digital technology in the management of urban life is being celebrated through its potential for enhancement. Underpinning ReaLsMs’ mission, however, is the recognition that it is necessary to retain a space for critical engagement in conjunction with the incorporation of technological developments, especially as Smart Cities are transforming the rights and responsibilities of urban inhabitants.

Our research will be achieved through the collaboration of academic and non-academic partners based across Europe and Ecuador, and facilitated through an extensive series of secondments of established and early stage researchers between partner organisations.

The joint research fields of ReaLsMs will be the development of historical and philosophical underpinnings of the Data City and the implementation of the Smart City within local governance structures. Taking a transdisciplinary approach, the key to this Research Exchange is developing new modes of participation for citizens in the Smart City while providing opportunities for engagement through the illumination of technological infrastructures.