Tag Archives: governance

New paper: From the accidental to articulated smart city

Claudio Coletta, Liam Heaphy and Rob Kitchin have published a new working paper (No. 28) – From the accidental to articulated smart city: The creation and work of ‘Smart Dublin’.

Abstract
While there is a relatively extensive literature concerning the nature of smart cities in general, the roles of corporate actors in their production, and the development and deployment of specific smart city technologies, to date there have been relatively few studies that have examined the situated practices as to how the smart city as a whole unfolds in specific places. In this paper, we chart the smart city ecosystem in Dublin, Ireland, and examine how the four city authorities have actively collaborated to progressively frame and mobilise an articulated vision of Dublin as a smart city. In particular, we focus on the work of ‘Smart Dublin’, a shared unit established to coordinate, manage and promote Dublin’s smart city initiatives. We argue that Smart Dublin has on the one hand sought to corral smart city initiatives within a common framework, and on the other has acted to boost the city-region’s smart city activities, especially with respect to economic development. Our analysis highlights the value of undertaking a holistic mapping of a smart city in formation, and the role of political and administrative geographies and specialist smart city units in shaping that formation.

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Next seminar: Smart City Infrastructures: Governance, practice and process

For our next event in the seminar series, we have invited Dr Aksel Ersoy from Oxford Brooks University to present his research on smart city infrastructures. He is Lecturer in Urban Geography in the Department of Social Sciences and focuses his research on the social and economic transformations of metropolitan cities.

Join us on Wednesday 8 March from 3pm to 5pm for his talk in Room 2.31, Iontas Building. More details about the talk can be found in the abstract below. Hope to see many of you!

Abstract
The issues of global environmental change and sustainability have now been on the agendas of research institutions, government departments and civil society organisations for a number of years. While the implications of the transnational and global characteristics of environmental problems continue to be integral to policymaking, government and governance, increasing attention is being directed at the necessity and scope for local action. Within urban studies, the multiple interlinkages between infrastructure domains has become crucial as interconnectedness and interdependencies of infrastructure networks provoke thinking about how urban policy shifts towards more resource efficient and resilient cities via enabling more integrative forms of co-management of urban infrastructure. Cities are wrestling with the inadequacies and inefficiencies of embedded and legacy infrastructure systems, while at the same time being presenting with a range of new opportunities and possibilities created by developments in digital technologies. The latter are currently signified by reference to the (imminent) arrival of the “smart city”, although this is a term which is used in diverse ways. This presentation explores local smart city practices, with a particular concern for governance and whether smart is explicitly understood as a vehicle for capitalising upon unexploited infrastructure interdependencies or dealing with the products of established siloed thinking about infrastructure.

ProgCity_Seminar_4_4_ AkselErsoy

Smart cities, privacy, data protection and cybersecurity

Last Thursday saw the launch of the ‘Getting Smarter about Smart Cities: Improving Data Privacy and Data Security‘ report by Rob Kitchin and published by the Department of the Taoiseach.  The report was submitted a few days before the publication of a similar report by Lilian Edwards titled ‘Privacy, Security and Data Protection in Smart Cities: a Critical EU Law Perspective‘ and therefore has no reference to it.  Whereas my report takes a more governance and policy focused approach, Lilian’s is more legally focused.  If taken as a pair I think they provide a pretty comprehensive overview of the various privacy and security issues raised by smart city technologies and possible solutions.

Kitchin smart citiesEdwards smart cities

Seminar – Governance by Design: The Case of Blockchains

We are delighted to have Dr. Rachel O’Dwyer as a guest speaker on Wednesday 9th December at 1pm, Iontas Building, room 1.33 for the third of our Programmable City seminars this semester.

Rachel is the holder of an Irish Research Council post-doctoral fellowship in Maynooth University, where she is preparing a book based on her thesis focused on the political economy and historical development of mobile networks. She is the founding editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Interference and leader of the Dublin Art and Technology Association.  She is curator of the Openhere conference and festival, and member of the peer-to-peer foundation, coordinating the P2P academic research network with Penny Travlou.

Rachel will be talking about the implications of the blockchain for peer-to-peer governance; a blockchain being a form of decentralised digital database mostly associated with the cryptocurrency BitCoin.

Flyer - Rachel O'Dwyer

Seminar – The Threat of Algocracy: Reality, Resistance and Accommodation

We are delighted to welcome Dr. John Danaher to Maynooth on Monday 2nd November at 3pm, Iontas Building room 2.31 for the first of our Programmable City seminars this semester.

Dr. John Danaher is a lecturer in Law at NUI Galway. His research interests lie, broadly, in the areas of philosophy of law and emerging technologies and law. In the past, he has published articles on human enhancement, brain-based lie detection, the philosophy of punishment and artificial intelligence. He maintains a blog called Philosophical Disquisitions, and he also writes for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

The session will introduce the topic of algorithmic decision-making, exploring the issues related to use of such decision-making in the public sphere is problematic and to how it affects the moral and political legitimacy of the decision-making process.

ProgCity_Seminar_3_1_JohnDanaher

Data and the City workshop, Session 5 videos

The final set of papers in the Data and the City workshop were a great way to end to a fantastic event. The full catalogue of videos are listed on our Project Videos page and can be found through our Vimeo account. Thanks again for all the attendees for making this year’s workshop such a resounding success.

Data Issues

Smart City, Surveillance City: human flourishing in a data-driven urban world

David Murakami Wood, Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies, Department of Sociology and Cross-Appointed in the Department of Geography, Member of the Surveillance Studies Centre, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Abstract
‘Smart cities’ are characterized by pervasive and distributed sensor networks generating big data for forms of centralized urban management, drawing together such previously unconnected infrastructural systems as video surveillance, meteorological stations, traffic lights and sewage systems. Although presented as largely civic, corporate and managerial, these schemes have a parallel history in military strategic thinking and policing, from crime mapping and predictive policing models, to new forms of urban warfare involving forms of distributed sensor platforms, and computer analytics, to enable forces to get a ‘clear picture’ of the complexities of the urban landscape and its inhabitants. In some cases, these have come together in overt ways, for example in the new ‘Domain Awareness’ initiatives in Oakland, California, and in New York which extends existing port security projects way beyond the military maritime ‘domain’ into the surrounding city and its governance.

Drawing on work in philosophy, science and technology studies, geography and surveillance studies, this paper considers the smart city as the archetypical urban form of the data-driven ubiquitous surveillance society. The paper considers the place of human rights in a broad sense, not simply privacy but also equity, access to services and justice, and ultimately, after Spinoza and Deleuze, the capacity of diverse human beings to flourish, in cities in which people are increasingly monitored, categorized and managed as logistical flows. It suggests some directions from the practices of bottom-up, citizen-centered city hacking initiatives and maker-spaces, but cautions that such practices are already subject to corporate capture and rebranding. The paper concludes that if smart cities are to be a way that big data can serve human flourishing, they need to be detached from narrow techno-economistic purposes and more truly refounded in social-ecological thinking, and this means dismantling many of the surveillance logics that underpin smart cities.

Michel Foucault and the smart city: power dynamics inherent in contemporary governing through code

Francisco Klauser, Assistant Professor, Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines Institut de géographie, Neuchâtel University

Abstract
Drawing upon Michel Foucault’s approach to power and governmentality, the paper explores the regulatory dynamics inherent in contemporary data-driven forms of regulation and management-at-a-distance of urban systems. More specifically, channelled through Michel Foucault’s concept of ‘security’, the paper portrays ‘governing through data’ not only as fundamentally reality-derived, relative and plural in scope and scale, but also as inherently flexible and fluid in aim and functioning. This in turn raises a series of critical questions with regard to the novel possibilities of differentiation and prioritisation, the actual adequateness, and the very implications of contemporary governing through data.

Empirically speaking, the paper focuses on the study of two high-profile pilot projects in Switzerland in the field of smart electricity management: iSMART and Flexlast. Both projects rely on massive efforts of data generation, interconnection and analysis, thus allowing the critical investigation of the rationales and problems inherent in the management of urban systems through data.

Crime Data and Analytics: Accounting for Crime in the City

Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair in Information Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

Abstract
Crime data are a record of incidents of crime. Such data are routinely compiled by police forces and feed into regional and national crime statistics. Crime data are relied upon in various narratives of crime in society. They are made selectively publicly available as open data and are also increasingly used in visualizations such as urban crime maps. Yet the nature of these data makes uncritical reliance upon them problematic. This paper explores the limits of crime data 21 the constraints on open data as crime data, and the deficiencies of visualizations of crime based on this data. It considers some of the practical, legal and institutional challenges of both expanding and improving these data.