Digital cartography enterprise: Neoliberalism, governmentality and digital infrastructure

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The Gigatown competition (2013–2015) was a joint initiative between the telecommunications company Chorus and the New Zealand government to award a New Zealand town ‘the fastest internet in the Southern Hemisphere’ through a social media competition. In this paper, I argue the competition stimulated a range of activities that cohere with creative and smart city policies, the growth of information and communications technology (ICT) and immaterial labour, and the participatory turn in urban governance and planning. In its attempt to remake city-space as receptive for an imagined ICT future, the competition exemplifies what I call a Digital Cartography Enterprise. This term captures both the neoliberal and post-industrial spatial rationalities of urban planning and policy with respect to securing ICT-readiness as well as the governmentalised disciplining of the population to creatively subsidise such a venture through appeals to their entrepreneurialism in a social media competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-95
Number of pages19
JournalWestminster Papers in Communication and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018


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