Angela Orasch is a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department at McMaster University. She has published work in the field of Canadian social policy and intergovernmental relations.
Currently, her research is situated within the field of urban/municipal policy and governance, examining the political economy of cities in North America.
She recently developed and taught a fourth-year undergraduate course on Canadian cities, neoliberal urbanism, and technological governance. She also contributed to Evergreen’s mid-sized cities research collaborative, where her research examined governance models of Canadian smart city initiatives.
She is a director of the Gathering on Art, Gentrification, and Economic Development (GAGED): A Public Forum for the City of Hamilton.
By looking at various “Smart City” initiatives, my research examines the relationship between spatial aesthetics and the political economy of the smart city, analyzing the ways in which smart cities use taste-based sensory data to manage, produce and intervene in the urban field.
These interventions form along a process of production and consumption, categorizing individuals and neighbourhoods within a stratified spatiality of splintering urbanism. By examining the role of aesthetics in smart cities, this research will shed light on how valuations of space/place, framed in a neoliberal political economy and aided by the introduction of technology, will continue to produce cities that are spatially bordered, divided and unequal.
This project forms a call for critical intervention in the development and implementation of digital-spatial governance, drawing further connections between urban technologies and the process of city placemaking. Not only does it present a critique of neoliberal economies in cities, but it builds a case for understanding how technologies, situated in neoliberal ideology, can come to threaten equality and inclusiveness in the future of city life.