Jérôme Denis & David Pontille

Demystifying and Repoliticizing Urban Data

In the face of the promises of the prophets of artificial intelligence and the marketing of those major economic players promoting the smart city as a solution to urban ills, Jérôme Denis and David Pontille remind us of the irreducible materiality and fragility of cities. Demystifying what they perceive as a form of “neopositivism” of data, they point out that data doesn’t exist per se, and in fact must be generated and then maintained at a significant cost. As a result, data is never neutral and takes on a fundamentally political dimension. Understanding this framework leads them to promote a paradigm of maintenance and fragility, instead of the more common one of sustainability and resilience, when approaching urban realities.

Soon available in open access.

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