Data Platforms and Cities
Keywords:data platforms, data labour and reuse, environmental sensors, urban governance, transparency
This section offers a series of joint reflections on (open) data platform from a variety of cases, from cycling, traffic and mapping to activism, environment and data brokering. Data platforms play a key role in contemporary urban governance. Linked to open data initiatives, such platforms are often proposed as both mechanisms for enhancing the accountability of administrations and performing as sites for “bottom-up” digital invention. Such promises of smooth flows of data, however, rarely materialise unproblematically. The development of data platforms is always situated in legal and administrative cultures, databases are often built according to the standards of existing digital ecologies, access always involves processes of social negotiation, and interfaces (such as sensors) may become objects of public contestation. The following contributions explore the contested and mutable character of open data platforms as part of heterogeneous publics and trace the pathways of data through different knowledge, skills, public and private configurations. They also reflect on the value of STS approaches to highlight issues and tensions as well as to shape design and governance.