In cities around the world a new urban condition is spreading rapidly: an ever-increasing push for ‘perfection’, efficiency and control and the active eradication of any aberration, friction or alternative. The smooth city with its sanitized spaces and new technologies compresses urban life into a seamless experience. While the demand for safe, clean, and well-functioning urban environments is understandable, the rise of the smooth city undermines the democratic nature and emancipatory potential of cities, while leaving almost no space for anything that is experimental, non-normative, transgressive or otherwise out of tune.
Smooth City provides a coherent framework to effectively criticize the enormous and in many ways problematic impact of 'smoothness' on cities everywhere, by investigating its origins, characteristics and consequences. At the same time, it offers a starting point to challenge the obsession with perfection and instead collectively work towards much needed alternatives.