Webinar on “Integrating Technology in Smart City Projects: A Semiotic Approach”

Announcing a webinar on “Integrating Technology in Smart City Projects: A Semiotic Approach

By Federico Bellentani 


In 1980, 39% of the global population, resided in cities. By 2015, this number had surged to 54% and projections indicate it will reach 66% by 2050. As cities expand and evolve, the push of technology plays a pivotal role in shaping urban life. However, the rapid integration of technology into urban environments often overlooks the nuanced meanings and interpretations of city dwellers. 

This presentation introduces a semiotic methodology for embedding technology in smart city projects, focusing on the significance of people’s meanings and interpretations. By leveraging urban semiotics, it proposes a human-centered approach to smart city development that harmonizes technological advancements with the cultural and social fabric of urban populations. 

This semiotic framework advocates for a participatory process where technological solutions are not merely imposed but are thoughtfully integrated based on the local contexts, values and practices of urban communities. This approach aims to enhance human experiences, foster inclusive and sustainable communities and ensure that technological progress supports human well-being and agency. 

This presentation will contribute to an extended theoretical toolkit for studying cities as semiotic entities, considering also the contributions included in the edited book Semiotics approaches to urban space (by Bellentani, Panico & Yoka, Edward Elgar Publishing),and provide practical suggestions for integrating technology in ways that enhance the lived experiences of urban populations.


Monica Rector (Brazil))

Panel members:

Kristian Bankov (Bulgaria)

Roman Esqueda (Mexico)

Kenneth Foote (USA)

Dragos Gheorghiu (Romania)

Hubert Kowalewski (Poland)

Laura Oswald (USA)

Federico Bellentani is a Post-Doc Researcher and Project Manager within the ERC-PoC Project EUFACETS, University of Turin, Italy. He received his PhD from Cardiff University, UK (2017) and he holds a MA in semiotics (2013) from University of Bologna, Italy. In 2015-2016, he was a visiting researcher at the Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Estonia.

Today he is vice-president of the International Association of Semiotics of Space and Time and Head of Marketing and Communications at Injenia, an Italian ICT company specialised on artificial intelligence with a strong background in semiotics and storytelling. He teaches urban design at University of Bologna and in digital marketing at University of Ferrara, Italy.

His scientific production includes three books, 30 articles in semiotics, digital culture, cultural geography and architecture and two edited special issues of academic journals. He presented his research in several international conferences. Among them, he was invited to give a lecture at an international program which brought together influential scholars and the former President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid.

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