The Real-Time City? Big Data and Smart Urbanism
A revised version of this paper, including two new sections, has been published in GeoJournal 79(1):1-14, 2014
20 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2013 Last revised: 11 Jan 2015
Date Written: July 3, 2013
‘Smart cities’ is a term that has gained traction in academia, business and government to describe cities that, on the one hand, are increasingly composed of and monitored by pervasive and ubiquitous computing and, on the other, whose economy and governance is being driven by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, enacted by smart people. This paper focuses on the former and how cities are being instrumented with digital devices and infrastructure that produce ‘big data’ which enable real-time analysis of city life, new modes of technocratic urban governance, and a re-imagining of cities. The paper details a number of projects that seek to produce a real-time analysis of the city and provides a critical reflection on the implications of big data and smart urbanism.
Keywords: big data, smart cities, urbanism, real-time analysis, data analytics, ubiquitous computing
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