All Data Are Local: Thinking Critically in a Data-Driven Society


Book by  Yanni Alexander Loukissas: “In our data-driven society, it is too easy to assume the transparency of data. Instead, Yanni Loukissas argues in All Data Are Local, we should approach data sets with an awareness that data are created by humans and their dutiful machines, at a time, in a place, with the instruments at hand, for audiences that are conditioned to receive them. All data are local. The term data set implies something discrete, complete, and portable, but it is none of those things. Examining a series of data sources important for understanding the state of public life in the United States—Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, the Digital Public Library of America, UCLA’s Television News Archive, and the real estate marketplace Zillow—Loukissas shows us how to analyze data settings rather than data sets.

Loukissas sets out six principles: all data are local; data have complex attachments to place; data are collected from heterogeneous sources; data and algorithms are inextricably entangled; interfaces recontextualize data; and data are indexes to local knowledge. He then provides a set of practical guidelines to follow. To make his argument, Loukissas employs a combination of qualitative research on data cultures and exploratory data visualizations. Rebutting the “myth of digital universalism,” Loukissas reminds us of the meaning-making power of the local….(More)”.

Beijing to Judge Every Resident Based on Behavior by End of 2020


Bloomberg News: “China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.

The capital city will pool data from several departments to reward and punish some 22 million citizens based on their actions and reputations by the end of 2020, according to a plan posted on the Beijing municipal government’s website on Monday. Those with better so-called social credit will get “green channel” benefits while those who violate laws will find life more difficult.

The Beijing project will improve blacklist systems so that those deemed untrustworthy will be “unable to move even a single step,” according to the government’s plan. Xinhua reported on the proposal Tuesday, while the report posted on the municipal government’s website is dated July 18.

China has long experimented with systems that grade its citizens, rewarding good behavior with streamlined services while punishing bad actions with restrictions and penalties. Critics say such moves are fraught with risks and could lead to systems that reduce humans to little more than a report card.

Ambitious Plan

Beijing’s efforts represent the most ambitious yet among more than a dozen cities that are moving ahead with similar programs.

Hangzhou rolled out its personal credit system earlier this year, rewarding “pro-social behaviors” such as volunteer work and blood donations while punishing those who violate traffic laws and charge under-the-table fees. By the end of May, people with bad credit in China have been blocked from booking more than 11 million flights and 4 million high-speed train trips, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

According to the Beijing government’s plan, different agencies will link databases to get a more detailed picture of every resident’s interactions across a swathe of services….(More)”.

Sidewalk Labs: Privacy in a City Built from the Internet Up


Harvard Business School Case Study by Leslie K. John, Mitchell Weiss and Julia Kelley: “By the time Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, began hosting a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session in January 2018, he had only nine months remaining to convince the people of Toronto, their government representatives, and presumably his parent company Alphabet, Inc., that Sidewalk Labs’ plan to construct “the first truly 21st-century city” on the Canadian city’s waterfront was a sound one. Along with much excitement and optimism, strains of concern had emerged since Doctoroff and partners first announced their intentions for a city “built from the internet up” in Toronto’s Quayside district. As Doctoroff prepared for yet another milestone in a year of planning and community engagement, it was almost certain that of the many questions headed his way, digital privacy would be among them….(More)”.

Declaration of Cities Coalition for Digital Rights


New York City, Barcelona and Amsterdam: “We, the undersigned cities, formally come together to form the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, to protect and uphold human rights on the internet at the local and global level.

The internet has become inseparable from our daily lives. Yet, every day, there are new cases of digital rights abuse, misuse and misinformation and concentration of power around the world: freedom of expression being censored; personal information, including our movements and communications, monitored, being shared and sold without consent; ‘black box’ algorithms being used to make unaccountable decisions; social media being used as a tool of harassment and hate speech; and democratic processes and public opinion being undermined.

As cities, the closest democratic institutions to the people, we are committed to eliminating impediments to harnessing technological opportunities that improve the lives of our constituents, and to providing trustworthy and secure digital services and infrastructures that support our communities. We strongly believe that human rights principles such as privacy, freedom of expression, and democracy must be incorporated by design into digital platforms starting with locally-controlled digital infrastructures and services.

As a coalition, and with the support of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), we will share best practices, learn from each other’s challenges and successes, and coordinate common initiatives and actions. Inspired by the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRPC), the work of 300 international stakeholders over the past ten years, we are committed to the following five evolving principles:

01.Universal and equal access to the internet, and digital literacy

02.Privacy, data protection and security

03.Transparency, accountability, and non-discrimination of data, content and algorithms

04.Participatory Democracy, diversity and inclusion

05.Open and ethical digital service standards”

Security in Smart Cities: Models, Applications, and Challenges


Book edited by Aboul Ella Hassanien, Mohamed Elhoseny, Syed Hassan Ahmed and Amit Kumar Singh: “This book offers an essential guide to IoT Security, Smart Cities, IoT Applications, etc. In addition, it presents a structured introduction to the subject of destination marketing and an exhaustive review on the challenges of information security in smart and intelligent applications, especially for IoT and big data contexts. Highlighting the latest research on security in smart cities, it addresses essential models, applications, and challenges.

Written in plain and straightforward language, the book offers a self-contained resource for readers with no prior background in the field. Primarily intended for students in Information Security and IoT applications (including smart cities systems and data heterogeneity), it will also greatly benefit academic researchers, IT professionals, policymakers and legislators. It is well suited as a reference book for both undergraduate and graduate courses on information security approaches, the Internet of Things, and real-world intelligent applications….(More)

Creating Smart Cities


Book edited by Claudio Coletta, Leighton Evans, Liam Heaphy, and Rob Kitchin: “In cities around the world, digital technologies are utilized to manage city services and infrastructures, to govern urban life, to solve urban issues and to drive local and regional economies. While “smart city” advocates are keen to promote the benefits of smart urbanism – increased efficiency, sustainability, resilience, competitiveness, safety and security – critics point to the negative effects, such as the production of technocratic governance, the corporatization of urban services, technological lock-ins, privacy harms and vulnerability to cyberattack.

This book, through a range of international case studies, suggests social, political and practical interventions that would enable more equitable and just smart cities, reaping the benefits of smart city initiatives while minimizing some of their perils.

Included are case studies from Ireland, the United States of America, Colombia, the Netherlands, Singapore, India and the United Kingdom. These chapters discuss a range of issues including political economy, citizenship, standards, testbedding, urban regeneration, ethics, surveillance, privacy and cybersecurity. This book will be of interest to urban policymakers, as well as researchers in Regional Studies and Urban Planning…(More)”.

Internet of Things for Smart Cities: Technologies, Big Data and Security


Book by Waleed Ejaz and Alagan Anpalagan: “This book introduces the concept of smart city as the potential solution to the challenges created by urbanization. The Internet of Things (IoT) offers novel features with minimum human intervention in smart cities. This book describes different components of Internet of Things (IoT) for smart cities including sensor technologies, communication technologies, big data analytics and security….(More)”.

Governance and economics of smart cities: opportunities and challenges


P.B.Anand and JulioNavío-Marco in Special Issues of  Telecommunications Policy: “This editorial introduction to this special issue provides an overview and a conceptual framework of governance and economics of smart cities. We begin with a discussion of the background to smart cities and then it focuses on the key challenges for consideration in smart city economics. Here it is argued that there are four dimensions to smart city economics: the first is regarding the scale of global market for smart cities; the second issue concerns data to be used for smart city projects; the third concerns market competition and structure and the fourth concerns the impact on local economy. Likewise, smart city governance framework has to be considered a layered and multi-level concept focusing on issues of transparency and accountability to the citizens….(More)”.

The Role of Urban Living Labs in Entrepreneurship, Energy, and Governance of Smart Cities


Chapter by Ana Pego and Maria do Rosário Matos Bernardo in Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Marketing for Global Reach in the Digital Economy: “Urban living labs (ULL) are a new concept which involves users in innovation and development and are regarded as a way of meeting the innovation challenges faced by information and communication technology (ICT) service providers.

The chapter focuses on the role of urban living labs in entrepreneurship, energy and governance of smart cities, where it is performed the relationship between innovations, governance, and renewable energy. The methodology proposed will focus on content analysis and on the exploration of some European examples of implemented ULL, namely Amsterdam, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. The contributions of the present research should be the consolidation of knowledge about the impact of ULL on innovation and development of smart cities regarding the concepts of renewable energy, smart governance and entrepreneurship….(More)”

Urban Science: Putting the “Smart” in Smart Cities


Introduction to Special Issue on Urban Modeling and Simulation by Shade T. Shutters: “Increased use of sensors and social data collection methods have provided cites with unprecedented amounts of data. Yet, data alone is no guarantee that cities will make smarter decisions and many of what we call smart cities would be more accurately described as data-driven cities.

Parallel advances in theory are needed to make sense of those novel data streams and computationally intensive decision support models are needed to guide decision makers through the avalanche of new data. Fortunately, extraordinary increases in computational ability and data availability in the last two decades have led to revolutionary advances in the simulation and modeling of complex systems.

Techniques, such as agent-based modeling and systems dynamic modeling, have taken advantage of these advances to make major contributions to diverse disciplines such as personalized medicine, computational chemistry, social dynamics, or behavioral economics. Urban systems, with dynamic webs of interacting human, institutional, environmental, and physical systems, are particularly suited to the application of these advanced modeling and simulation techniques. Contributions to this special issue highlight the use of such techniques and are particularly timely as an emerging science of cities begins to crystallize….(More)”.