Urban indicators and dashboards: epistemology, contradictions and power/knowledge

Kitchin, Rob and Lauriault, Tracey P. and McArdle, Gavin (2015) Urban indicators and dashboards: epistemology, contradictions and power/knowledge. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 2 (1). pp. 43-45. ISSN 2168-1376

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The three commentaries to our paper provide some interesting complementarities to our arguments and we would like to thank the authors for taking the time to read and comment on our work. Although coming from quite different perspectives, Mike Batty as an urban modeller and planner and Matt Wilson as a critical geographical information system (GIS) theorist, largely support our concerns around urban indicator and dashboard projects: that they have certain technical and epistemological shortcomings and are often used to support particular interests. Whilst Batty cautions as to how indicators and dashboard might be used, reframed technically and supplemented by more sophisticated modelling, Wilson is more concerned with how such projects are framed socially and economically as tools of capital accumulation. Neither provide analysis with which we particularly disagree. In contrast, Meg Holden and Sara Moreno Pires, while they recognize many of the issues we discuss, provide a critique of our analysis and a defence of indicator and dashboards as presently conceived and practised. Their commentary demonstrates to us how those who have vested a lot of time and effort into indicator and dashboard projects might misread and react to our argument, defending such projects without fully grasping our critique and the alternative epistemology we forwarded, or our own position within the indicator and dashboard landscape. The rest of this response, therefore, concentrates on their commentary.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in REGIONAL STUDIES, REGIONAL SCIENCE (2015), available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/ (DOI: 10.1080/21681376.2014.991485). © 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecom mons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: urban indicators; dashboards; epistemology; Dublin Dashboard; All-Island Research Observatory; The Atlas of the Risk of Homelessness; MunicipalData.ca;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 6021
Identification Number: 10.1080/21681376.2014.991485
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2015 14:39
Journal or Publication Title: Regional Studies, Regional Science
Publisher: Routledge
Refereed: Yes

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