ENQ Special Edition: Urban data assemblage – Call for papers

Special Edition: Urban data assemblage

Guest Editor: S. Carta

Call for Papers

In the contemporary digital and physical urban context, people, the built environment and software have a common purpose: the production and management of data. This occurs through the agency of three different entities: individuals produce and consume data both consciously and unconsciously by carrying on their daily activities such as working, commuting, entertaining themselves etc. Programs are the mechanism by which data are inputted and outputted in a continuous computing process. Finally, the built environment can be seen as the container of such processes. Data are produced and consumed inside it, and it provides an overall framework for the data production and consumption to take place. Individuals are the actors, software is the mechanism, and the built environment is their framework. The three entities work as an assemblage that allows the system to keep working and maintain its continuous evolution. In this sense, the data production and consumption are the main vehicles for the three agents to work seamlessly in a continuous data exchange.

The contemporary city seems to function increasingly through data exchange (Willis and Aurigi 2017). This is underpinned by the fact that in the recent decades the level of complexity of urban informational infrastructure has increased dramatically. Computers have become ubiquitous and potentially able to permeate every aspect of urban life.

The role of software is increasingly important, for algorithmic logics control the automated processes that have a significant impact on our lives. This includes automated sorting algorithms at airports (e.g. Lyon 2003, Klauser 2009), computer-led infrastructure (Graham 1998, 2005), quantified-self (Lupton 2016), code/space (Kitchin and Dodge 2011) and, more generically, big data (Townsend 2013) and Internet of Things (IoT) (Whitmore et al. 2015).

With this special edition of ENQ: The ARCC Journal, we would like to welcome contributions from architects, urban designers, geographers and other scholars interested in urban informatics, computing, sentient cities, mediated cities, digital cities and new technologies to reflect upon the common notion of urban data assemblage (Kitchin and Lauriault 2014).

We are particularly interested in proposals that reflect on how information is produced, processed and shared by individuals through the built environment and by software within the urban context.

In this scenario of urban informatics (Foth 2008), where the contemporary city is governed by ubiquitous computing and space/code, this issue of ENQ: The ARCC Journal is open to contributions that reflect upon (but not limited to) the following questions:

  • How is architectural and urban knowledge produced?
  • What do machines and computers see when looking at the city and urban life?
  • What type of information do computers give to us as a result of their scanning of the built environment?
  • What architects and urban designers do with this information?
  • How sensed data are utilized in the design process?
  • Is there any new type of knowledge that we can learn from machines?
  • To what extent our understanding knowledge of the city is augmented by our extensive use of computers and algorithmic logics?



16 January 2019. Announcement call for papers

17 June 2019. Deadline for submission of papers

December 2019. Publication of the Special Edition

More information for authors: https://www.arcc-journal.org/index.php/arccjournal/information/authors



Foth, Marcus, ed. Handbook of research on urban informatics: the practice and promise of the real-time city: the practice and promise of the real-time city. IGI Global, 2008.

Graham, Stephen. “The end of geography or the explosion of place? Conceptualizing space, place and information technology.” Progress in human geography 22.2 (1998): 165-185.

Graham, Stephen DN. “Software-sorted geographies.” Progress in human geography 29.5 (2005): 562-580.

Kitchin, Rob, and Martin Dodge. Code/space: Software and everyday life. Mit Press, 2011.

Kitchin, Rob, and Tracey Lauriault. “Towards critical data studies: Charting and unpacking data assemblages and their work.” (2014).

Klauser, Francisco. “Interacting forms of expertise in security governance: the example of CCTV surveillance at Geneva International Airport 1.” The British journal of sociology 60.2 (2009): 279-297.

Lupton, Deborah. The quantified self. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

Lyon, David. “Airports as data filters: Converging surveillance systems after September 11th.” Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 1.1 (2003): 13-20.

Mattern, Shannon. “Interfacing urban intelligence.” Code and the City (2016): 49-60.

Townsend, Anthony M. Smart cities: Big data, civic hackers, and the quest for a new utopia. WW Norton & Company, 2013.

Whitmore, Andrew, Anurag Agarwal, and Li Da Xu. “The Internet of Things—A survey of topics and trends.” Information Systems Frontiers 17.2 (2015): 261-274.

Willis, Katharine S., and Alessandro Aurigi. Digital and smart cities. Routledge, 2017.