A special issue of ‘Built Environment’ – Big Data and the City – edited by Mike Batty has just been published and includes a paper by Gavin McArdle and Rob Kitchin on improving the veracity of open and real-time urban data. Full details of contents below:
Editorial: Big Data, Cities and Herodotus by MICHAEL BATTY
Big Data and the City by MICHAEL BATTY
From Origins to Destinations: The Past, Present and Future of Visualizing Flow Maps by MATTHEW CLAUDEL, TILL NAGEL, and CARLO RATTI
Towards a Better Understanding of Cities Using Mobility Data by MAXIME LENORMAND and JOSÉ J. RAMASCO
Finding Pearls in London’s Oysters by JON READES, CHEN ZHONG, ED MANLEY, RICHARD MILTON and MICHAEL BATTY
A Classification of Multidimensional Open Data for Urban Morphology by ALEXANDROS ALEXIOU, ALEX SINGLETON, and PAUL A. LONGLEY
User-Generated Big Data and Urban Morphology by A.T. CROOKS, A. CROITORU, A. JENKINS, R. MAHABIR, P. AGOURIS and A. STEFANIDIS
Sensing Spatiotemporal Patterns in Urban Areas: Analytics and Visualizations Using the Integrated Multimedia City Data Platform by PIYUSHIMITA (VONU) THAKURIAH, KATARZYNA SILA-NOWICKA, and JORGE GONZALEZ PAULE
Playful Cities: Crowdsourcing Urban Happiness with Web Games by DANIELE QUERCIA
Big Data for Healthy Cities: Using Location-Aware Technologies, Open Data and 3D Urban Models to Design Healthier Built Environment by HARVEY J. MILLER and KRISTIN TOLLE
Improving the Veracity of Open and Real-Time Urban Data by GAVIN MCARDLE and ROB KITCHIN
Wise Cities: ‘Old’ Big Data and ‘Slow’ Real Time by FABIO CARRERA
Collecting and Visualizing Real-Time Urban Data Through City Dash-Boards by STEVEN GRAY, OLIEVER O’BRIEN and STEPHAN HÜGEL
The Programmable City Project is hosting a two day invite-only workshop on the relations between data and the city. The Data and the CityWorkshop will take place on August 31st and September 1st 2015 and will bring together 20 invited experts in the field and the ProgCity team. A description of the workshop and the agenda are below with links to some of the papers to be presented that are already available online:
There is a long history of governments, businesses, science and citizens producing and utilising data in order to monitor, regulate, profit from, and make sense of the urban world. Data have traditionally been time-consuming and costly to generate, analyze and interpret, and generally provided static, often coarse, snapshots of phenomena. Recently, however, we have entered the age of big data with data related to knowing and governing cities increasingly become a deluge; a wide, deep torrent of timely, varied, resolute, and relational data. This has been accompanied by an opening up of state data, and to a much lesser degree business data, and the production of volunteered geographic information. As a result, evermore aspects of everyday life — work, consumption, travel, communication, leisure — and the worlds we inhabit are being captured as data and mediated through data-driven technologies. This data revolution has produced multiple challenges that require critical and technical attention — how best to produce, manage, analyze, and make sense of big and open data, data infrastructures and their consequences with respect to urban governance and everyday life. The workshop will examine such critical and technical issues across the five thematic areas of: critically framing data, data infrastructures and platforms, data models and the city, data analytics and the city, ethical and political issues.
A new paper by Rob Kitchin has been posted as open access on SSRN. From a Single Line of Code to an Entire City: Reframing Thinking on Code and the City is The Programmable City Working Paper 4.
Cities are rapidly becoming composed of digitally-mediated components and infrastructures, their systems augmented and mediated by software, with widespread consequences for how they are managed, governed and experienced. This transformation has been accompanied by critical scholarship that has sought to understand the relationship between code and the city. Whilst this work has produced many useful insights, in this paper I argue that it also has a number of shortcomings. Principal amongst these is that the literatures concerning code and the city have remained quite divided. Studies that focus on code are often narrow in remit, fading out the city, and tend to fetishize and potentially decontextualises code at the expense of the wider socio-technical assemblage within which it is embedded. Studies that focus on the city tend to examine the effects of code, but rarely unpack the constitution and mechanics of the code producing those effects. To provide a more holistic account of the relationship between code and the city I forward two interlinked conceptual frameworks. The first places code within a wider socio-technical assemblage. The second conceives the city as being composed of millions of such assemblages. In so doing, the latter seeks to provide a means of productively building a conceptual and empirical understanding of programmable urbanism that scales from individual lines of code to the complexity of an entire urban system.
Keywords: code, city, software, programmable urbanism, software studies, smart city, urban studies, assemblages
An extended version of a Programmable City working paper, with two new sections, has been published in GeoJournal (visit GeoJournal website or Download).
Kitchin, R. (2014) The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism. GeoJournal 79(1): 1-14.
‘Smart cities’ is a term that has gained traction in academia, business and government to describe cities that, on the one hand, are increasingly composed of and monitored by pervasive and ubiquitous computing and, on the other, whose economy and governance is being driven by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, enacted by smart people. This paper focuses on the former and, drawing on a number of examples, details how cities are being instrumented with digital devices and infrastructure that produce ‘big data’. Such data, smart city advocates argue enables real-time analysis of city life, new modes of urban governance, and provides the raw material for envisioning and enacting more efficient, sustainable, competitive, productive, open and transparent cities. The final section of the paper provides a critical reflection on the implications of big data and smart urbanism, examining five emerging concerns: the politics of big urban data, technocratic governance and city development, corporatisation of city governance and technological lock-ins, buggy, brittle and hackable cities, and the panoptic city.