Organization: Department of City and Regional Planning, UNC at Chapel Hill
Students, professionals, and researchers from a range of disciplines are invited to submit abstracts that explore the application of data analytics to urban governance and the design of cities.
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Our cities are now wired together by technologies that produce vast troves of data. The reach of the internet and the ubiquity of digital devices have been matched by the growth of a computational toolset for analyzing these newly-available data.
This presents a compelling opportunity for planners, who have always applied data to decision-making. Planners now apply robust analytical methods to address community problems with greater precision and reach.
These new tools permit a clearer picture of the urban world. They may enable new efficiencies in the delivery of urban services. Like all technologies, however, these tools present risks. Bias enters analytics in ways that are difficult to trace. Concerns arise over privacy and surveillance. Widespread reliance on these technologies has already demonstrated threats to democratic processes.
In Volume 48 of the Carolina Planning Journal, we pause to assess the moment. What should we make of this wealth of data? Perhaps it will lead us into a new era of technocratic decision-making and revive conflicts over the right to the city. Or perhaps democratized access to these tools will help communities resolve longstanding conflicts over urban governance.
What longed-for outcomes will be made possible? How will the perils be managed?
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Suggested topics include (but are not restricted to):
ENERGY, such as the real-time monitoring of energy grids and power consumption.
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, such as the use of data visualization in community processes.
TRANSPORTATION, such as the live tracking of public transit use.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, such as the expansion of decentralized digital currencies.
HOUSING, such as the automated review of public housing applications.
ENVIRONMENT, such as the pursuit of sustainable value chains.