Skip to main content
From infrastructural breakdown to data vandalism : repoliticizing the smart city?
Television and New Media
  • Rolien Susanne HOYNG, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
SAGE Publications
  • smart city,
  • data,
  • social media,
  • participation,
  • protest,
  • Istanbul

The smart city is often approached by its critics as a “system” that exploits optimal connectivity and efficiency for an urban society of control. Meanwhile, the actual operation of “smart city” assemblages in globalizing cities—characterized by development and breakdown, connectivity and disconnection—is seldom the basis of analysis. By focusing on the interplays between these dualities, this article aims to underscore the modalities of power and political possibilities of dissent in Istanbul, Turkey. Data-based smart city apparatuses are supposed to at once fix infrastructural breakdown and stabilize the socio-political order. However, during the Gezi protests of 2013, the integrated tactics of sabotage in urban space and data vandalism in the digital realm undermined both data control by the state and its political authority. Yet Gezi’s example also shows that hyperconnectivity, data motility, and virality by themselves do not necessarily lead to more meaningful participation in urban politics.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © The Author(s) 2015

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Hoyng, R. (2016). From infrastructural breakdown to data vandalism: Repoliticizing the smart city? Television and New Media, 17(5), 397-415. doi: 10.1177/1527476415617032