EVENT: "‘Smart Cities’ and/or ‘Smart Communities’: Challenges, Conflicts, and Opportunities" - Talk with Dr. Lihi Lahat and Dr. Regev Nathansohn (April 5)

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Please join the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies on TuesdayApril 5, 2022, at 11:00 AM EDT / 6:00 PM IST for a virtual talk with Dr. Lihi Lahat and Dr. Regev Nathansohn.


About the Talk:
The lecture presents our teaching and research experience in the context of ‘smart cities’ and includes three parts. The first part describes our 3-year experience at the ‘Smart Communities in the Periphery’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at Sapir Academic College, Israel. In the lab, we work with interdisciplinary teams of students who develop digital solutions for the needs of residents in a peripheral city in southern Israel. Rather than developing projects as ‘top-down’ initiatives, our goal is to improve people’s lives based on their actual needs (‘bottom-up’). The second part describes a paper we developed based on ethnographic research in Hadar neighbourhood in Haifa. The paper explores the connection between trust, distrust, and citizenship regimes and their effect on the involvement of citizens in digital platforms calling for a change in municipal services. The last part discusses our latest research together, funded by the Truman Institute at the Hebrew University, Israel. The study explores smart city projects in ‘mixed’ cities and their potential effect on relations between different communities. Findings could help policymakers design smart cities in ways that improve relations between communities and minimise conflicts. 

Dr. Lihi Lahat is a senior lecturer in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at Sapir Academic College and an Affiliated Associate Professor at the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies at Concordia University, Montreal.

Dr. Regev Nathansohn is a lecturer at the Department of Communications at Sapir Academic College, where he heads the Digital Media and MarCom Program, and co-directing (with Dr. Lihi Lahat) the Smart Communities Innovation Lab.