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Research focussing on infrastructure networks, sustainability and sociotechnical change

Meet Andrew (Andy) Karvonen, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Studies at KTH and Associate Director for Seminars at Digital Futures.

Hi Andy, describe your role at Digital Futures?

– I coordinate the weekly seminars and lectures for Digital Futures. Over the last year, we have been fortunate to host a wide range of inspiring speakers from around the world. I am continually astounded by the diversity and breadth of digitalisation research and am always on the lookout for strategic synergies and cross-connections.

Tell us a bit about your long-time experience in research and what motivates you as a researcher?

– I am trained as an urban planner and my research focuses on infrastructure networks, sustainability, and sociotechnical change. I have completed projects on water and energy systems, low-carbon housing, urban experiments and laboratories, and most recently, smart cities. I have an abiding interest in the rise of infrastructure networks in the Global North in the second half of the nineteenth century and the political, social, and cultural implications of these collective services. Today, the rise of smart cities presents a new era of infrastructure building and has the potential to reinvent cities in both positive and negative ways. Ultimately, realising more sustainable, liveable, and resilient cities requires fundamental changes to urban infrastructure networks and these changes will inevitably be contested.

Finally, tell us a little bit about yourself!

– I was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the USA. I worked as an environmental engineer and sustainability consultant in the private sector before completing my PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2009 I moved to Europe and worked at the University of Manchester in the UK for almost eight years before arriving in Stockholm in 2016. In my free time, I enjoy sifting through other people’s discarded junk at second-hand stores.

Link to the profile of Andrew Karvonen


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