Urban informatics, governmentality and the logics of urban control: The Programmable City Working Paper 25


Kitchin, Rob and Coletta, Claudio and McArdle, Gavin (2017) Urban informatics, governmentality and the logics of urban control: The Programmable City Working Paper 25. Working Paper. Programmable City Working Paper 25.

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Abstract

In this paper, we examine the governmentality and the logics of urban control enacted through smart city technologies. Several commentators have noted that the implementation of algorithmic forms of urban governance that utilize big data greatly intensifies the extent and frequency of monitoring populations and systems and shifts the governmental logic from surveillance and discipline to capture and control. In other words, urban governmentality is shifting from subjectification – molding subjects and restricting action – to modulating affects, desires and opinions, and inducing action within prescribed comportments. We examine this contention through an examination of two forms of urban informatics: city dashboards and urban control rooms and their use in urban governance. In particular, we draw on empirical analysis of the governmental logics of the Dublin Dashboard, a public, analytical dashboard that displays a wide variety of urban data, and the Dublin Traffic Management and Incident Centre (TMIC) and its use of SCATS (Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System) to control the flow of traffic in the city. We argue that there is no one governmentality being enacted by smart city technologies, rather they have mutable logics which are abstract, mobile, dynamic, entangled and contingent, being translated and operationalized in diverse, context-dependent ways. As such, just as disciplinary power never fully supplanted sovereign power, control supplements rather than replaces discipline.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: Published as an open access pre-print on SocArXiv: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/27hz8/ Abstract. For Luque-Ayala, A. and Marvin, S. (eds) Control Room: Nodes in the Networked City. Routledge, London. The research for this chapter was provided by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, ‘The Programmable City’ (ERC-2012-AdG-323636) and a Science Foundation Ireland grant, ‘Building City Dashboards’ (15/IA/3090). Published under a CC0 1.0 Universal License.
Keywords: smart cities; governmentality; logics; urban informatics; city dashboards; traffic control;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 9229
Identification Number: 10.17605/OSF.IO/27HZ8
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2018 15:37
Publisher: Programmable City Working Paper 25
Funders: European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
URI:

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