Guest Editors: Andrew Karvonen (Lund U) & Tom Hargreaves (U of East Anglia)
Deadline for abstracts: 26 September 2022
How are data reconfiguring life in buildings and cities? Who are the subjects and objects of data-driven buildings and cities? What are the implications of data-driven buildings and cities for social equity and justice? How do these powers and associated practices align with policies and regulation?
The aim of this special issue is to improve our collective understanding of the practices, politics, and power implications of data-driven buildings and cities. How is data generated, metabolised, and gathered in the built environment? Who designs and governs these data flows and to what end? Who and what is enrolled in the datafication of buildings and cities? What forms and types of data are collected and what gets ignored in data flows at and across different scales? What are the broader implications for social justice and equity? We invite social scientists, planners, designers, building scientists, data scientists, and environmental scientists to shine a critical spotlight on the motivations, methods, and consequences of data-driven buildings and cities.
Buildings and cities are increasingly being reconfigured and reimagined by flows of data (e.g. Barns 2019, Hodson et al. 2020, Kitchin et al. 2017). Smart homes and connected buildings, electric scooter and bike sharing programmes, autonomous vehicles and Mobility as a Service programmes, surveillance and security systems, digitally-networked infrastructure services, and urban control centres are just a few of the many examples of how data cut across multiple scales to reconfigure buildings, neighbourhoods, cities, and regions in fundamental ways (e.g. Degen et al. 2022, Marvin et al. 2015, Luque-Ayala & Marvin 2020). This datafication of buildings and cities is intended to produce a seamless built environment that connects providers and users, facilitates information provision and financial transactions, and informs and improves decision making processes (e.g. Hodson et al. 2020).
There are growing concerns however that these processes of datafying the built environment are far from neutral and benign. Critics of data-driven environments argue that the collection, management, integration, analysis, and application of datasets produces specific lived conditions that are beneficial to some but not all (e.g. Bigo et al. 2020, Graham & Dittus 2022). This work has focussed on the unavoidably political processes involved in deciding what data gets collected (and what ignored) and how this generates particular and partial understandings that reflect and privilege some experiences of life in buildings and cities while neglecting others. For example, it has emphasised: how the presumed objectivity of data and the forms of algorithmic decision-making performed upon them can both mask and reinforce historic forms of prejudice, inequality and discrimination (e.g. Eubanks 2018); how data from ‘smart’ systems is used to surveil and control people in their homes, workplaces and local communities (e.g. Nicholls et al. 2020); how the opacity of data flows in cities serves to protect private interests whilst shutting out vital forms of public engagement (e.g. Sadowski 2020); and, more optimistically, how citizens and grassroots initiatives can both resist and innovate with and repurpose data flows to redistribute costs and benefits and generate more inclusive forms of smart urbanism. Taken together, these critiques not only raise important questions about social equity and justice in the datafication of the built environment, but also hold significant implications for how data flows in the built environment might be re-thought and re-made for more sustainable and inclusive ends.
We welcome theoretical and empirical abstracts that focus on the practices, politics and power implications of: smart homes, buildings and infrastructure networks, urban platforms and operating systems, e-governance and the digitalisation of public administration, city information modelling and digital twins, etc. The following questions provide some critical entry points for analysis and reflection:
You are invited to submit an abstract for this special issue. Please send a 500 word (maximum) abstract to editor Richard Lorch by 26 September 2022. Your submission must include these 3 items:
Abstracts will be reviewed by the editors to ensure a varied, yet integrated selection of papers around the topic. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper (6000-7500 words), which undergoes a double-blind review process.
Buildings & Cities is an international, open access, double-blind peer-reviewed research journal. Its focus is the interactions between buildings, neighbourhoods and cities by understanding their supporting social, economic and environmental systems. More information including its Aims & Scope, Key Principles and Editorial Board can be found here: www.buildingsandcities.org & published papers are found here: https://journal-buildingscities.org
Buildings & Cities is an open access journal and has an article processing charge (APC) of £1200. If you do not have institutional support, please notify the editor when submitting your abstract. B&C endeavours to assist those without funding.
If you have a
question, please contact:
Richard Lorch Andrew Karvonen or Tom Hargreaves
26 Sept 2022
Workshop with selected authors
Full papers due
01 February 2023
(NB: authors can submit
sooner if they wish)
24 April 2023
Final version due
22 May 2023
Second reviews (if needed)
|(NB: papers are published as soon as they are accepted)|
Barns, Sarah. (2019). Platform Urbanism: Negotiating Platform Ecosystems in Connected Cities. Springer Nature.
Bigo, D., Isin, E. & Ruppert, E. (2020). Data Politics: Worlds, Subjects, Rights. Taylor & Francis.
Degen, M.M. & Rose. G. (2022). The New Urban Aesthetic: Digital Experiences of Urban Change. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Eubanks, V. (2018). Automating Inequality: How High-tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. St. Martin's Press.
Graham, M. & Dittus, M. (2022). Geographies of Digital Exclusion: Data and Inequality. Pluto Press.
Hodson, M., Kasmire, J., McMeekin, A., Stehlin, J.G. & Ward, K. eds. (2020). Urban Platforms and the Future City: Transformations in Infrastructure, Governance, Knowledge and Everyday Life. Routledge.
Kitchin, R., Lauriault, T.P. & McArdle, G. (2017). Data and the City. Routledge.
Luque-Ayala, A. & Marvin, S. (2020). Urban Operating Systems: Producing the Computational City. MIT Press.
Marvin, S., Luque-Ayala, A. & McFarlane, C. eds. (2015). Smart Urbanism: Utopian Vision or False Dawn? Routledge.
Mattern, S. (2021). A City is Not a Computer: Other Urban Intelligences. Princeton University Press.
Nicholls, L., Strengers, Y. & Sadowski, J. (2020). Social impacts and control in the smart home. Nature Energy, 5.
Sadowski, J. (2020). Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World. MIT Press
Shapiro, A. (2020). Design, Control, Predict: Logistical Governance in the Smart City. University of Minnesota Press.
Speculation beyond technology: building scenarios through storytelling
R M Dowsett, M S Green & C F Harty
Professional judgement: an institutional logic approach to contractor tender pricing
D Jefferies & L Schweber
Emerging technologies’ impacts on ‘man caves’ and their energy demand
Y Strengers, K Dahlgren & L Nicholls
The gender of smart charging
Who cares? How care practices uphold the decentralised energy order
K Lucas-Healey, H Ransan- Cooper, H Temby & A W Russell
Alternatives to air-conditioning: policies, design, technologies, behaviours [editorial]
B Ford, D Mumovic & R Rawal
Benchmarking energy performance: indicators and models for Dutch housing associations
H S van der Bent, H J Visscher, A Meijer & N Mouter
Emissions from a net-zero building in India: life cycle assessment
M Jain & R Rawal
Lack of adaptability in Brazilian social housing: impacts on residents
S B Villa, P B Vasconcellos, K C R de Bortoli & L B de Araujo
Participation in domestic energy retrofit programmes: key spatio- temporal drivers
E Mohareb, A Gillich & D Bristow
Embodied carbon of concrete in buildings, Part 2: are the messages accurate?
A Moncaster, T Malmqvist, T Forman, F Pomponi & J Anderson
An alternative approach to delivering safe, sustainable surgical theatre environments
C A Short, A W Woods, L Drumright, R Zia & N Mingotti
Integrating low energy cooling & ventilation strategies in Indian residences
M J Cook, Y Shukla, R Rawal, C Angelopoulos, L Caruggi-De-Faria, D Loveday, E Spentzou, & J Patel
Balconies as adaptable spaces in apartment housing
T Peters & S Masoudinejad
Residential geothermal air-conditioning: inhabitants’ comfort, behaviour and energy use
L Thomas, A Woods, R Powles, P Kalali, & S Wilkinson
Energy retrofit and passive cooling: overheating and air quality in primary schools
D Grassie, Y Schwartz, P Symonds, I Korolija, A Mavrogianni & D Mumovic
Outdoor PM2.5 air filtration: optimising indoor air quality and energy
E Belias & D Licina
Architects’ ‘enforced togetherness’: new design affordances of the home
E Marco, M Tahsiri, D Sinnett & S Oliveira
Overheating assessment in Passivhaus dwellings: the influence of prediction tools
V L Goncalves, V Costanzo, K Fabbri & T Rakha
The use of apartment balconies: context, design & social norms
M Smektała & M Baborska-Narożny
Sharing a home under lockdown in London
F Blanc & K Scanlon
Projected climate data for building design: barriers to use
P Rastogi, A Laxo, L Cecil &D Overbey
Residents’ views on adaptable housing: a virtual reality-based study
J Tarpio & S Huuhka
Many cities throughout the world have set carbon and / or energy targets including renewable energy production and emissions reduction goals. Despite the commitment to take action, cities do not directly control the majority of the uses of energy or consumption-related sources of carbon emissions within their boundaries. Could a focus on household energy use, personal travel and consumption of material goods help to achieve this transition at city level? Tina Fawcett (University of Oxford), Kerry Constabile (University of Oxford) and Yael Parag (Reichman University) consider whether and how cities could harness personal carbon allowances in a practical manner.
The former Swiss 'Impulse programme' was a successful response to the 1970s energy crisis. It provides important lessons for today’s climate emergency about what governments, industry and academia can do to create a successful transition within the construction industry. Niklaus Kohler and Kurt Meier (both former members of the Construction and Energy Impulse programmes) reflect on key lessons for today about its implementation and how to sustain change over the short and long term.