KAROL PIEKARSKI. DATA-ACTIVISM AND OTHER FORMS OF STRUGGLE OVER THE CONTROL OF CITY INTERFACES
The city is a specific space of experiments, which use tools for processing data in order to improve the quality of life. There is a number of conditions that need to be met so as not to reduce the idea of smart cities to a collection of technocratic rules typical of managing the city from up top.
The prime principle is transparency and symmetry of access, so that all users have full control over data. When such relationship is in place, the division into the subjective content provided by the inhabitants and the objective data supplied by official institutions is blurred. Data, on the other hand, are not exclusively used to describe reality but are a pretext for undertaking actions in the urban space.
Hacking the city is not thus limited to popular protest movements coordinated via social media, but can take a variety of forms: actions aimed at diagnosing and “watchdogging” based on data analysis, community-based data sourcing, or alternative uses public space.
The presentation shows ways of data use in the interest of local communities, and describes the competences which urban activists need to have so as to make full use of the potential of social networks and new technologies.