Inclusion in the datafied city
Modern cities are datafied cities. The Special Interest Group Inclusion in the Datafied City researches how data can contribute in strengthening civic participation and public values in the smart city.
The key role of data
Data, and the more visible manifestations on platforms and apps, play a key role in commercial interactions, public policies and social interactions. The proliferation of (big) data is spurring a research and design agenda that aims to improve the management of so-called ‘smart cities’. Less research has so far been done on the relationship between data, local governance and social equity; the fair, just and equitable distribution of public services.
The nature of datafied systems, the power relations and the values embedded in various urban systems have a major impact on the inclusiveness of the city. A key challenge therefore is to make sure that datafication in practice does not promote the interests of the few but peoples’ collective interests to fully participate in (urban) society.
Threats to civic inclusiveness
It has been noted that processes of datafication tend to go hand in hand with mechanisms like commodification and (social) selection. Oftentimes, the uses of data tend to promote the specific interests of some stakeholders at the expense of other people, or societal interests at large. Hence, the ongoing datafication of city life poses a range of urgent threats to civic inclusiveness.
How can data aid in strengthening civic participation and public values in the smart city? How can the use of data lead to more equitable outcomes for citizens? This Special Interest Group Inclusion in the Datafied City wants to map such processes. It will explicitly also include cities from the global south.