In these sessions we will be developing an critical reading of the ‘smart city’ agenda and exploring ways in which digital mapping and other technologies could be mobilised or transformed to serve as platform for democratic action. All sessions begin at 6pm.

28 October Alison Powell Data Citizenships
Discussant Dan McQuillan

In a data city, where everyday experience is positioned in relation to the production, management and analysis of different streams of data, what does citizenship look like? Are citizens primarily producers of data that helps their governments cut costs or deliver services back to them? Are they auditors using open data to hold their governments to account? Or could citizens enact different kinds of relationships to governing structures in relation to data?

This talk outlines three possible forms for “data citizenships” – citizens as data producers, citizens as data auditors, and citizens as data entrepreneurs. It asks about the extent to which these citizenships are able to transcend the surveillance and control associated with data in cities and “give voice” to people. Examples of data-based mapping projects are used, but come prepared to discuss the meaning of data in relation to mapping, space, and citizenship.

Alison is Assistant Professor in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Programme Director of the MSc in Media and Communication (Data & Society). Her research examines how people’s values influence the way technology is built, and how discourses, practices and governance structures are produced in relation to new technological systems.