Tag Archives: control rooms

New paper: Algorhythmic governance: Regulating the ‘heartbeat’ of a city using the Internet of Things

Claudio Coletta and Rob Kitchin have published a new Programmable City working paper (No. 22) – Algorhythmic governance: Regulating the ‘heartbeat’ of a city using the Internet of Things – which is due to be delivered at the Algorithms in Culture workshop at the University of California Berkeley, 1-2 December 2016.

It can be downloaded from: OSF, ResearchGate, Academia


To date, research examining the socio-spatial effects of smart city technologies have charted how they are reconfiguring the production of space, spatiality and mobility, and how urban space is governed, but have paid little attention to how the temporality of cities is being reshaped by systems and infrastructure that capture, process and act on real-time data. In this paper, we map out the ways in which city-scale Internet of Things infrastructures, and their associated networks of sensors, meters, transponders, actuators and algorithms, are used to measure, monitor and regulate the polymorphic temporal rhythms of urban life. Drawing on Lefebvre (1992[2004]), and subsequent research, we employ rhythmanalysis in conjunction with Miyazaki’s (2012, 2013a/b) notion of ‘algorhythm’ and nascent work on algorithmic governance, to develop a concept of ‘algorhythmic governance’. We then use this framing to make sense of two empirical case studies: a traffic management system and sound monitoring and modelling. Our analysis reveals: (1) how smart city technologies computationally perform rhythmanalysis and undertake rhythm-work that intervenes in space-time processes; (2) three distinct forms of algorhythmic governance, varying on the basis of adaptiveness, immediacy of action, and whether humans are in, on-, of-, off-the-loop; (3) and a number of factors that shape how algorhythmic governance works in practice.

Key words: algorhythm, algorithmic governance, rhythmanalysis, Internet of Things, smart cities, time geography



The politics and praxis of urban data: Building the Dublin Dashboard

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.