A Brazil-UK academic partnership critically examining emerging forms of digital urbanism


Augmented urbanity and smart technologies: how “smart” are our cities becoming?

The ‘Augmented urbanity and smart technologies’ project is an RCUK-CONFAP Research Partnership funded through the Newton Fund.


The project aims to build strong research collaboration on smart cities and the interaction between digital and physical infrastructures in Brazil and the UK.

Objectives of the Collaboration

Research collaboration is focused at the intersection of two interconnected research areas – smart technologies and smart cities. Both are important to understanding the enormous urban transformations in the past two or three decades. Researchers involved in this collaboration have made strong contributions to the development of this research arena through both individual and collaborative books, peer reviewed publications, and the organization of conferences and events [see Partners and Publications].

Building on a history of previous work between key researchers, this project is an opportunity to consolidate and further build links between research occurring in the different institutions. The project aims to develop joint research leading to publication, develop permanent links between the four universities, widen involvement to include both other academic staff within the institutions and research postgraduates and discuss commonalities and differences in the methodologies used by researchers of the four centres.

We aim to create an environment of discussion to exchange ideas and experiences involving senior academic researchers as well as doctoral students based in PUCPR, UFBA, Durham University and Plymouth University’ through a program of academic mobility.

Augmented urbanity and smart technologies


Develop Understanding

Research will contribute to a critical understanding of urban space and urban practices as sociotechnical processes in the context of an increase in digital technologies and resultant transformation of ecological flows in the city.

Stimulate Capacity for Research

To stimulate debate and capacity for comparative international research into the use of ICTs in urban processes and analyse their role in contemporary social and economic urban transformations across global north and south contexts.

Academic Mobility

To enable exchange and collaboration between scholars and students involved in research on smart and digital urbanism between two universities in Brazil (PUCPR and UFBA) and two universities in the UK (Durham and Plymouth).