This year, Dr. Jennifer Clark (The Ohio State University) was selected as the recipient of the 2021 Best Book in the Field of Urban Affairs for Uneven Innovation: The Work of Smart Cities. Seventy-seven books were nominated for the Best Book in Urban Affairs Award this year. The authors of these books represented several different disciplines and a variety of urban topics.

Award Committee Assessment:

Jennifer Clark (The Ohio State University)
Jennifer Clark (The Ohio State University)

“The Urban Affairs Association’s Best Book committee is pleased to award the 2021 Best Book in Urban Affairs Award to Jennifer Clark for Uneven Innovation: The Work of Smart Cities (Columbia University Press, 2020). Clark’s insightful analysis emphasizes the potential of smart-city developments to exacerbate and deepen inequalities between and within cities. Clark’s book is compelling in its discussion of power and agency in shaping the world’s reaction to smart city projects, and particularly the forces aligning that make such developments difficult to slow or prevent. However, the analysis avoids being overly critical, promoting a framework for understanding smart cities that rebalances concerns for economic development with uneven development. Clark’s book makes a clear contribution to urban affairs, grounded in both ‘traditional’ literatures such as entrepreneurial urban governance, as well as emerging fields like policy mobilities. The text is highly accessible with clear writing and an excellent mix of empirics and theory that is grounded in discerning examples.”

Award Committee:

Eric Van Holm, Committee Chair, (University of New Orleans), Melody Boyd (SUNY Brockport), Tarry Hum (Queens College and Graduate Center, SUNY), John Lauermann (City University of New York), and Drew Westberg (Coe College)

Award Winner:

Jennifer Clark is Professor and Head of the City and Regional Planning Section at the Knowlton School of Architecture in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. She specializes in urban and regional economic development planning. In addition to Uneven Innovation: The Work of Smart Cities (Columbia University Press, 2020), Dr. Clark is the author of Working Regions: Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy (Routledge, 2013) and co-author of Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (w/ Susan Christopherson, Routledge, 2007), winner of the 2009 Best Book Award from the Regional Studies Association, and the 3rd edition of Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning (w/ Carl Patton and David Sawicki, Routledge, 2012). She is co-editor of the Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy (Edward Elgar, 2015) and Transitions in Regional Economic Development (Routledge, 2018). Dr. Clark is a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA). She is also the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Regional Studies. She earned her PhD from Cornell University, an MPLAN from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota, and a BA from Wesleyan University.