Thursday, 16 July 2009

Proceedings and videos for the SSSCLA'09

It’s a pleasure to announce that the Proceedings for the SSSCLA are out and available for free at The videos for the 4 keynote talks are available from the same address. Please feel free to visit and to distribute.

I apologize for the enormous delay in releasing the proceedings but the editing work was all down to only one person. It was more than 600 pages to review, return to authors and reformat.

I must thank everyone for their collaboration. Soon we will get back to you with more information on the next event in Mexico, 2010.
The initiative of organizing the interdisciplinary symposium Surveillance, Security and Social Control in Latin America, which took place in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, between 4th and 6th March 2009, stemmed from a common collective idea through different perspective and approaches: the need for prospection, gathering, mobilization and communication of Latin-American works and researchers dedicated to issues related to surveillance studies.
There is no record of events of this kind sharing the same focus in Latin America. Thus, the expectation of the organizers and scholars involved with this event is that it has become the first of a series of other symposiums to take place in many other Latin-American cities, with the aim of gathering more and more scholars, research and approaches related to surveillance, especially from the point of view of a knowledge construction and diffusion in the so-called global South. In fact, the first motivations raised for the organization of this event, called attention to a possible separation of knowledge and research about surveillance between the global South and the global North.
Besides the papers, we had the important contributions as keynote speakers from renowned scholars in the fields that surround surveillance studies. Thus, we had the crucial talks by Professor David Lyon (Queen’s University, Canada), Professor Luis Antonio Machado da Silva (Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Professor Nelson Arteaga Botello (Universidad Autonoma del Estado do Mexico) and Professor David Murakami Wood (Newcastle University). Videos featuring their keynote speeches are attached to these proceedings and available online at:
We express our gratitude to the institutions that made this symposium a reality, being: Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR); Programa de Pós-Graduação em Gestão Urbana (PPGTU-PUCPR); curso de especialização Gestão Técnica do Meio Urbano (GTU-PUCPR); Fundação Araucária; Programa de Pós-Graduação em Comunicação e Cultura (EcoPós-UFRJ); Surveillance Studies Network; and the journal Surveillance & Society.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

REMINDER - call for chapter PROPOSALS

Just a reminder to our call for chapter PROPOSALS due 15th July 2009. At this stage we only need a 2-3 pages proposal for chapters.

Please see the whole call at:


The first number of the Brazilian Journal of Urban Management, called urbe, is OUT NOW!
It is available for free at:
Authough it's a Brazilian journal, it accepts papers from different countries in 4 languages (Portugues, Spanish, English and French), as long as the subjects fit to the journal's agenda on urban issues and urban studies.
Urbe is edit by me and other two colleagues, Tomas Moreira (PUCPR) and Christian Silva (UTFPR).
One of the main attributes of urbe is to be open to scholars and researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, including urban and regional planning, urban management, architecture and urbanism, administration, public policy, human geography, environmental engineering, political science, social communication, law, economics, civil engineering, philosophy, geology, informatics, information systems, social service, sociology, and tourism, among others.
Urbe publishes theoretical as well as empirical original studies of issues that directly or indirectly affect the spatial organization conditions of cities and regions in developing and developed countries.
The journal is a publication of the Postgraduate Program in Urban Management (PPGTU) at Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR), and is published twice a year.
Thus, the editorial approach of urbe prioritizes the interdisciplinary debate on urban management using research outcomes as well as theoretical and empirical discussions from diverse thematic areas, such as:
- Urban and regional development;
- Urban economy;
- Urban epistemology;
- Natural resources management;
- Public management;
- Governance and urban networks;
- Electronic governance;
- Urban mobility;
- Urban planning;
- Municipal strategic planning;
- Public policy;
- Information systems;
- Urban and regional sustainability;
- Urban law;
- Urban sociology;
- Urban geography;
- Perception and urban landscape;
- Urban design.

Editora Universitária Champagnat
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná
Rua Imaculada Conceição,1155-Prado Velho
CEP 80215-901-Cx. Postal 16.210
Tel.: +55 (41) 3271-1577 – FAX: +55 (41) 3271-1770
Curitiba - Paraná - Brazil

Editorial Board
Adrian Atkinson (TU Berlin)
Alex Abiko (Poli-USP)
Ana Clara Torres Ribeiro (IPPUR-UFRJ)
Bernard Declève (Université Catholique de Louvain)
Brasilmar Nunes (SOC/UNB)
Eduardo José Viola (UNB)
Ermínia Maricato (FAU-USP)
Jefferson Andronio Ramundo Staduto (UNIOESTE)
José Antonio Pinho (UFBA)
Ladislau Dowbor (PUCSP)
Marco A. Arbage Lobo (UNAMA)
Martin Smolka (Lincoln Institute)
Nabil Georges Bonduki (FAU-USP)
Pedro Jacobi (USP - PROCAM)
Raquel Rolnik (FAU-USP)
Richard Morin (Université du Québec á Montréal)
Stephan Tomerius (University of Applied Sciences Trier)
Stephen Graham (Durham University)
Susana Finquelievich (Universidad de Buenos Aires)
Tomás Lapa (UFPE)

Consulting Board
Alessandro Aurigi (Newcastle University)
Ana Maria Fernandez-Maldonado (TU Delft)
Azael Rangel Camargo (EESC-USP)
Bernardo Arantes do Nascimento Teixeira (UFSCar)
Carlos Hardt (PUCPR)
Carlos Leite (Universidade Mackenzie)
Carlos Mello Garcias (PUCPR)
Carlos Monteiro de Andrade (EESC-USP)
Carlos Nassi (COOPE-UFRJ)
Clovis Ultramari (PUCPR)
Daniel Joseph Hogan (UNICAMP)
Deborah peel (Liverpool University)
Dominique Boullier (Université Rennes II)
Emmanuel Antonio dos Santos (ITA)
Eneida Maria Souza Mendonça (Universidade Federal de Vitória)
Eulalia Portela (EESC-USP)
Fábio Duarte (PUCPR)
Francisco Comaru (UFABC)
Guillermo Foladori (UFPR)
Jandir Ferreira de Lima (UNIOESTE)
João Sette Whitaker Ferreira (FAU-USP)
José Marcos Pinto da Cunha (UNICAMP)
Keneth Kruckemeyer (MIT)
Luiz Eduardo Aragon Vaca (UFPA)
Maria Sylvia M. Saes (USP)
Mariana Fix (FACAM, Campinas)
Mauricio Hernandez-Bonilla (Universidad Veracruzana)
Michael Peterek (Universidade de Frankfurt)
Miroslawa Czerny (University of Warsaw)
Nelson Baltrusis (Universidade Católica de Salvador)
Nelson Saule Jr (PUCSP)
Oklinger Mantovaneli Jr (FURB)
Peter Brand (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
Ricardo Siloto da Silva (UFSCar)
Rosana Aparecida Baeninger (UNICAMP)
Rubén Pesci (FLACAM)
Samira Kauchakje (PUCPR)
Tamara Cohen Egler (IPPUR-UFRJ)
Victor Brunfaut (ISACF, La Cambre)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Call for Chapter PROPOSALS

Proposals Submission Deadline: 7/15/2009
Full Chapters Due: 9/15/2009

ICTs for Mobile and Ubiquitous Urban Infrastructures:Surveillance, Locative Media and Global Networks

A book edited by Dr. Rodrigo Firmino, Dr. Fabio Duarte and Dr. Clovis Ultramari Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR) , Curitiba, Brazil

The world is completely urban. This phenomenon is only possible once space is intertwined with information and communication technologies (ICTs), which challenge the scale of space, the boundaries of political and economic territories, and how social groups appropriate parts of the world to turn them into their places.
New ubiquitous and mobile technological urban infrastructures, essentially supported by ICTs, are the basis of these challenges to the understanding and appropriation of space, territories and places. At the core of this book, there is the wish to complement other studies and publications currently emerging that address the dilemmas associated with physical and electronic urban spaces where the notions of space, territory and places are at the edge of their conceptual definition and on the way they are experienced, but specifically focusing on surveillance studies, mobile and locative media, and global networks.

This book intends to investigate how this shift to a completely urban global world woven together by ubiquitous and mobile ICTs changes the ontological meaning of space, and how the use of these technologies challenges the social and political construction of territories and the cultural appropriation of places.
Our approach to this conceptual debate will focus on ICTs and new urban infrastructures. Three types of technologies represent the core of the discussions presented in the book, both through theoretical approaches and analytical descriptions of case studies: surveillance artifacts; mobile and locative media; and the global networks of signs, values and ideologies.

This book will seek to play an important role in marking the emergence of global urban technological infrastructures as a critical and interdisciplinary discipline, being relevant to a variety of readers from urban studies, urban and social history, geography, cultural studies, architecture and urbanism, technology and society, sociology, planning, as well as practitioners working for public and private planning departments and local authorities’ officials.

ICTs have a quick obsolescence. Nevertheless, their social and historical construction and implications to our way of life change the concepts and experiences of urban spaces. In this sense, to focus on the influence of an emerging global urban infrastructure based on ICTs could enlighten and bring some ideas about the paradigmatic challenges upon space, the boundaries of political and economic territories, and how social groups appropriate parts of the world to turn them into their places. Important: Please note that there will be a reference-chapter for each of the three parts of the book (please see below), written by scholars renowned by their expertise in the three main themes. Authors are asked to consider these papers as the foundations for each part. We are currently in the process of receiving these three commissioned reference articles, which will be available before notification of acceptance. Meanwhile, we ask authors to consider the preliminary references listed bellow, which are previous publications by the three invited scholars. We welcome contributions that can seat nicely in the variety of issues which form the three main parts below. Contributors are invited to submit proposals for chapters that approach mainly one of the subjects below, indicating the part of the book it would preferably fit in.

Part I – Surveillance: the intention here is to discuss the technological and social implications of such instruments that permeate our daily life, and which permit, for those who control it, a hypothetical total control of the space.
- Preliminary reference:LYON, D. (2004). “Surveillance Technologies: Trends and Social Implications” in Barrie Stevens (ed.) The Security Economy, Paris, OECD. Available at:

Part II – Mobile and Locative Media: chapters here are expected to discuss the technological and social implications of such instruments that give us the freedom of spatial mobility and the possibility of creating and recreating places.
- Preliminary reference:LEMOS, A. (2008). Mobile Communication and new sense of places: a critique of spatialization in cyberculture. Galáxia (PUCSP), v. 16, pp. 91-108. Available at:

Part III – Global Networks: the focus here is global networks of signs, values and ideologies, which break down the social and political boundaries of territories. The challenge in this part is to discuss both the roles of the global flows of information, social and cultural values, and the infrastructures which have been built as a global technological network.
- Preliminary reference:TAYLOR, P. (2008). World Cities in Globalization. GaWC Research Bulletin 263. 28th April 2008. Available at:

Researchers are invited to submit on or before July 15, 2009, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by July 30, 2009 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by September 15, 2009. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference” and “IGI Publishing” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2010.

July 15, 2009: Proposal Submission Deadline
July 30th, 2009: Notification of Acceptance
September 15, 2009: Full Chapter Submission
January 15, 2010: Review Results Returned
March 15, 2010: Final Chapter Submission

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) or by mail to:
Dr. Rodrigo Firmino
Postgraduate Program in Urban Management –
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR) –

Long time no see...

Wow! This is such a delay... and there is no way to apologise for this. I've been lazy with this Blog. Unbelievable, unforgiveable... I think I am back! There may still be light at the end of the tunnel, then!

Anyway, I doubt I still have any readers left. Here is the way I will try to come back to business with this blog:

Together with other 2 colleagues (Fabio Duarte and Clovis Ultramari), I am organizing a book with IGI Global ( called “ICTs for Mobile and Ubiquitous Urban Infrastructures: Surveillance, Locative Media and Global Networks”.

We would like to invite contributors to attend to the call for chapter proposals. Please note that for the first deadline we only need a 2-3 pages chapter PROPOSALS, which will be assessed to the interests of the book. Later we will ask authors of selected proposals to write the full chapters.

If you ever see this post, please help us spread it around as widely as possible (we want a balanced book in terms of origins of the authors).

Here is the link to the call:

I will also reproduce the call here in the next post to avoid mixing with these information here...

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Surveillance, Security and Social Control in Latin America (2)

We`re nearly there! These are the posters for the conference. It is promissing!!! More at

Click on the images to download the high-resolution posters.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Brazil, violence and cities

An interesting article called "Not as violent as you thought" was released last year by The Economist praising the falling rates of murders in Brazil. The Economimst calls the readers attention, though, that the biggest contributions to the country's overall decline in the number of murders comes from its biggest city, São Paulo. The chart provided by the newspaper shows it very clearly. David Murakami Wood also writes about it on his blog Ubiquitous Surveillance.
What is more interesting from an urbanist point of view (!) is that crime rates, especially violent ones, are the number-one justification (and in fact, very lowdly advertised reason) for the rise in number of condos in Brazil and other Latin American countries. Estate companies normally and very efficiently uses a (blurred) rising sense of insecurity to try and sell more houses and apartments in closed and well technologically-equiped gated-communities. See, for example, the magazine "condomínio segurança", which calls itself as the first Brazilian magazine especialized in condos' security; or this article in Veja São Paulo, showing rising rates of approved horizontal condos in São Paulo between 1998-2004, which points security as the main advantage of living in places like these.
Many scholars have been pointing out that neither these communities are more secure, or crime rates are actually rising, especially if we consider the numbers in relative and proportional terms. The culture (or industry!) of fear in increasingly bigger urban places influences not only the way people use, see, feel, and build public spaces, but also the way we buy and idealise our private places, the way we live in our houses. The condominium industry seems to be happy with that... Some (like Fabio Duarte and Klaus Frey or Tereza Caldeira and Maria Sposito) consider we are renouncing and fearing the city, denying urban life, as we prefer to live enclosed in private enclaves fully-equiped with sports facilities, cinema, gyms, and even houses and apartments, in what Brazilian estate companies are calling "living clubs" (clubes de morar): "where you feel safe, relaxed and at home, all in just one place". Is that what we really want to our cities (a conglomerate of walled and secured enclaves - of different socioeconomic categories - like in the Mexican film "La Zona" or "Zona do Crime" as it is known in Brazil)? I pass!!! And we are starting to see (and discuss) how some ways of living (like more in isolation, surrounded by ubiquitous taken-for-granted-technology, surrounded by walls, in fear, etc.) might very well not be part of the solution to other urban problems. I hope the numbers shown by The Economist (released by the Brazilian Ministry of Health) are, at least partially, true and continue their current tendency of crime rates fall. So that condos enthusiats will have to find other excuses to keep walling our cities.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Back to work...

Every good thing comes to an end, so they say... And I am getting back to work after a month-long break.

And I am very happy to host my friend David Murakami Wood at home and at the university as he will work as PPGTU's visiting academic until April. We will be working together and organising the 1st Surveillance, Security and Social Control in Latin America conference, to take place here in Curitiba between 4th and 6th March, as I posted earlier.
I should and will try to be more organised in posting here, so that we can really call this a blog!

Picture's credits: unknown author; Cox And Forkun

Friday, 26 December 2008

Surveillance in Latin America EVENT
The announcement of papers selected for presentation will be released on the 7th January 2009!
I will keep it posted!
By the way, this picture shows the North-American artist William Lawson's intervention from November 2007, hacking a surveillance camera with a helium ballon.
Low-cost counter-surveillance or just art?

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Transformative Spaces

André posted on his carnet de notes about a very interesting project called Urban Mobs, which alledgedly maps people's emotions in European cities. Quoting their official website: "Urban Mobs provide a tool to study crowd communication activities and paint a popular emotion cartography".

It reminds me of Lars Spuybroek’s intervention for the city of Doetinchem in the Netherlands, called D-Tower, constructed between 1998 and 2003. A website surveyed participants’ emotions every month to transform their sensations into an unstable and colourful tower in a public square. In this way, passers-by would notice what the artist/architect supposed to be the mood of the city. Marcos Novak calls this transarchitecture and Thomas Horan would define it as transformative recombinant design.

Of course that D-tower and Urban Mobs have their similarities in the way relational concepts are applied (with the aid of technologies) to depict, question and think through spatial manifestations. But, essentially, they do it and happen in different scale. I would say they both have similar ideas, one at the building (or architecture) scale, and another at the urban or regional (or global) scale.