Week 7: Open Data

Throughout the last term various readings have explored the role of the smart cities in innovating more sophisticated systems that adapt to the public. Despite reservations surrounding the misuse and barriers created by technologies, evidence of systems successfully responding to the needs of individuals has been witnessed, especially as the publication of information gathered through these technologies is starting to become shared to the public. Information which is ‘more real-time in nature [is] generated through sensors and locative/social media’ (Kitchin, Lauriault & McArdle, 2015, p.6), enabling citizens and councils to manage locations based on the indicators provided. Complex data gathering is often accused of a lack of transparency, evidenced in social media algorithms and surveillance practices (public and private), therefore the use of these initiatives does address this problem through greater transparency. However, they ‘are open to manipulation’ and may not be as reflective as of real experience as initially imagined. Enlund et al. (2022) highlight this also, exploring the role of sensors and informational cities ‘measuring’ the interactions within a locale. One way in which manipulation or misuse may occur is through commercial or political activity, with specific stakeholders utilising datasets to function for their own benefit in how they target their demographics.


Kitchin, R., Lauriault, T.P. & McArdle, G., 2015. Knowing and governing cities through urban indicators, city benchmarking and realRegional Studies, Regional Science , 2(1), pp.6time dashboards. 28. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/21681376.2014.9 Further Readings 83149

Enlund, D. et al. (2022) “The role of sensors in the production of Smart City Spaces,” Big Data & Society, 9(2), p. 205395172211102. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/20539517221110218.

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