In a three-month stay in Los Angeles, Bieber is researching how an ethical smart city policy can be developed that focuses on the dignity and autonomy of city dwellers.
At the Thomas Mann House, whichwas openedby the German government in 2016 as a meeting and research centre for outstanding scholarsand intellectuals from all disciplines, researchers are tackling the pressing challenges of our time. As one of a total of six selected scholarship holders, Bieber convinced the advisory board with his research project: He wants to investigate the impact of smart city projects on digital empowerment. “Los Angeles is considered one of the most digitally connected cities in the US. I’m conducting a case study on the ground that shows how to develop ethical smart city policies focused on the dignity and autonomy of city residents.”
Los Angeles is currently experiencing an economic boom: as a new high-tech location with forward-looking start-ups, the city shows good potential for a second Silicon Valley. But what does this digital transformation mean for politics and especially for society? Bieber thinks: “In addition to perspectives for networking, production development, location and technology promotion, it is also important to have a city that is oriented towards the needs of its citizens
How do data and algorithms affect urban development? What does it do to coexistence when more and more technology providers determine the public discourse and specialise solely in increasing efficiency? Bieber plans to explore these and other questions on site from summer 2021. Interviews and workshops with city policy makers, digital innovatorsand groups involved in smart city projects, and US colleagueswill help to get a picture of the current state of affairs. The political scientist plans to publish the first results after his stay.
The Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. association promotes intellectual and cultural exchange between Germany and the United States of America as an independent and non-partisan intermediary of the Federal Republic of Germany. It keeps alive the memory of European exile history in California, conveys a contemporary, diverse image of Germany and enables joint reflection on social, cultural and political challenges.