The continuous process of urban transformation, which has included multiple works and demolitions over the years, has been possible thanks to the energy flows that converge in the city. Now, we can guide urban decisions by “natural” criteria to make them more efficient. For this, it is key to observe and detect where there are flows rubbing against the territory with enough potential to create life around them. This is the true substratum of an organic urbanism.
Scientific progress is coming from unexpected directions. Mathematics, biology, and astrophysics promise to bring new theoretical tools to advance in how cities work. Social networks, Internet of Things, and big data are sending much of the information about flows between humans and between humans and objects at local and distant scales. But, in screening the universe of cities, our observation artifacts are maybe too narrow and rudimentary.
Proposals of new data sharing platforms are still much guided by technologists. As a result, many of them were relying too much on the promises of technology, and some of them were underestimating the impact on digital rights of such systems, thinking in good faith that complying with the recently issued GDPR automatically placed citizens on the safe side.
During the fall of 2019 I was interviewed on several occasions by Monica Posada (scientific officer at the Digital Economy Unit of the JRC) on the subject of governments APIs (Application Programmin Interfaces). Monica was interested in knowing Zaragoza data ecosystem, its APIs and digital assets.
Urban data is an informal description for all the data that is collected in cities, about people or about things. It can be used to make our life better, but, as Black Mirror shows, our personal data (our “digital fingerprint”) can be used to make our life impossible, too
Interview during Eurocities’ Knowledge Society Forum celebrated in Zaragoza in November, 2018...
Data sharing is something we all think should be happening but that no one has seen yet. In my Master on City Sciences’ thesis I pointed out that there are gigantic organizational and behavioural (psychological) barriers that block the way. As more projects on co-creation start in the following years, and small scale urban data sharing examples are being built, we expect that a whole new body of knowledge about the subject will appear.