Earlier today Rob Kitchin presented a paper jointly written with Gavin McArdle and Sophia Maalsen at the Association of American Geographers meeting in Chicago titled: The politics and praxis of urban data: Building the Dublin Dashboard. The submitted abstract is below, along with the powerpoint slides. Hopefully the full written paper will be published as a working paper shortly.
This paper critically reflects on the building of the Dublin Dashboard (www.dublindashboard.ie) from the perspective of critical data studies. The Dashboard is a website that provides citizens, planners, policy makers and companies with an extensive set of data and data visualizations about Dublin City, including real-time information, indicator trends, inter and intra-urban benchmarking, interactive maps, the location of services, and a means to directly report issues to city authorities. The data used in the Dashboard is open and available for others to build their own apps. One member of the development team was an ethnographer who attended meetings, observed and discussed with key actors the creation of the Dashboard and its attendant praxis and politics up to the point of its launch in September 2014. This paper draws on that material to consider the contextual, contingent, iterative and relational unfolding of the Dashboard and the emergent politics of data and design. In so doing, it reveals the contested and negotiated politics of smart city initiatives.