Rob Kitchin

Rob Kitchin
National University of Ireland, Maynooth | NUI Maynooth · Department of Geography

BSc, MSc, PhD

About

318
Publications
206,024
Reads
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18,880
Citations
Introduction
Rob Kitchin is a professor and ERC Advanced Investigator in the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis at Maynooth University. He is currently a principal investigator on the Programmable City project, the Digital Repository of Ireland, the All-Island Research Observatory and the Dublin Dashboard. He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.
Additional affiliations
July 1998 - present
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (318)
Article
Full-text available
Over the past two decades urban social life has undergone a rapid and pervasive geocoding, becoming mediated, augmented and anticipated by location-sensitive technologies and services that generate and utilise big, personal, locative data. The production of these data has prompted the development of exploratory data-driven computing experiments tha...
Article
Full-text available
Academic knowledge building has progressed for the past few centuries using small data studies characterized by sampled data generated to answer specific questions. It is a strategy that has been remarkably successful, enabling the sciences, social sciences and humanities to advance in leaps and bounds. This approach is presently being challenged b...
Article
Full-text available
Since the mid-1990s a plethora of indicator projects have been developed and adopted by cities seeking to measure and monitor various aspects of urban systems. These have been accompanied by city benchmarking endeavours that seek to compare intra- and inter-urban performance. More recently, the data underpinning such projects have started to become...
Chapter
This chapter provides an analysis of the effects of code on daily life and the production of space and explains the difference code makes through an interrogation of the relationship between technology, society, and space. It develops a theoretical framework for understanding the effects of code and making sense of the vignettes. An ontogenetic und...
Article
Full-text available
For three decades the case has been made for the development and adoption of digital tools that better support spatial decision-making in planning using 3D information. Here we report on a study that interviewed planners from local authorities in Ireland concerning their knowledge and experience of 3D spatial media. We consider the potential uses o...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we evaluate the viability of using big data produced by smart city systems for creating new official statistics. We assess sixteen sources of urban transportation and environmental big data that are published as open data or were made available to the project for Dublin, Ireland. These data were systematically explored through a pro...
Article
Full-text available
The spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in the most devastating global public health crisis in over a century. At present, over 7 million people from around the world have contracted the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), leading to more than 400,000 deaths globally. The global health crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemi...
Article
To help tackle the spread of COVID-19 a range of surveillance technologies – smartphone apps, facial recognition and thermal cameras, biometric wearables, smart helmets, drones, and predictive analytics – have been rapidly developed and deployed. Used for contact tracing, quarantine enforcement, travel permission, social distancing/movement monitor...
Article
City dashboard websites are a common modality for bringing open-government philosophies into the public domain. Yet, there has been little research concerning the optimum design for city dashboards that takes account of users’ expectations and skills. Indeed, there has been minimal exploration of user-centered design (UCD) to improve the usability...
Article
Through an empirical focus on Metropolitan Boston, this paper examines the effects of territorial politics and fragmented metropolitan governance on an urban data ecosystem and endeavours to enact a smart city-region. The fragmented governance of Metro Boston reduces scales of economy and produces interjurisdictional data incompatibilities that lim...
Article
City dashboards are increasingly becoming a tool of urban management and governance, used by administrations to monitor key urban metrics and the performance of services and policy. To date, however, there has been little research done from a users perspective of what constitutes a good or bad city dashboard and to establish essential user-centered...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the neoliberal ideals that underpin participation and citizenship in the smart city and their replication mechanisms at the European level, particularly focusing on the work of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities. The research consisted of three levels of data generation and analysis: a discourse...
Chapter
This chapter examines the technocracy of smart cities and the set of urban technocrats that promote and implement their use. It first sets out the new technocracy at work and the forms of technocratic governance and governmentality it enacts. The chapter then details how this technocracy is supported by a new smart city epistemic community of techn...
Chapter
This book uses an international perspective to look at the sources of conflict and cooperation between the different landscapes of knowledge driving contemporary urban change, and the rise of new technocracy in urban governance.
Article
Full-text available
City dashboards have become a common smart city technology, emerging as a key means of sharing and visualising urban data for the benefit of the public and city administrations. Operating as the front-end of many cities’ data stores, dashboards display and benchmark indicators relating to city operations, characteristics, and trends, displayed thro...
Chapter
This chapter considers how to, following David Harvey (1973), produce a genuinely humanizing smart urbanism. It does so through utilizing a future-orientated lens to sketch out the kinds of work required to reimagine, reframe, and remake smart cities. I argue that, on the one hand, there is a need to produce an alternative “future present” that shi...
Article
To date, critical examinations of smart cities have largely ignored their temporality. In this article, I consider smart cities from a spatiotemporal perspective, arguing that they produce a new timescape and constitute space–time machines. The first half of the article examines spatiotemporal relations and rhythms, exploring how smart cities are t...
Article
Full-text available
Reacting to critiques that the smart city is overly technocratic and instrumental, companies and cities have reframed their initiatives as ‘citizen-centric’. However, what ‘citizen-centric’ means in practice is rarely articulated. We draw on and extend Sherry Arnstein’s seminal work on participation in planning and renewal programmes to create the...
Article
This paper examines the neoliberal ideals that underpin participation and citizenship in the smart city and their replication mechanisms at the European level, particularly focusing on the work of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities. The research consisted of three levels of data generation and analysis: a discourse...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper considers, following David Harvey (1973), how to produce a genuinely humanizing smart urbanism. It does so through utilising a future-orientated lens to sketch out the kinds of work required to reimagine, reframe and remake smart cities. I argue that, on the one hand, there is a need to produce an alternative ‘future present’ that shifts...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper provides an introduction to the smart city and engages with its idea and ideals from a critical social science perspective. After setting out in brief the emergence of smart cities and current key debates, we note a number of practical, political and normative questions relating to citizenship, justice, and the public good that warrant e...
Article
Hackathons – quick prototyping events to create technical innovations for perceived challenges – have become an important means to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and the start-up economy in smart cities. Typically such events are organized by companies working in partnership with city administrations, and are predominately attended by technica...
Article
While there is a relatively extensive literature concerning the nature of smart cities in general, the roles of corporate actors in their production and the development and deployment of specific smart city technologies, to date there have been relatively few studies that have examined the situated practices by which the smart city unfolds in speci...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we explore the nature, value, and challenges of dialogue both within and outside the academy. After considering the possibilities and limits to dialogue, we divide our analysis into three sections, first discussing dialogue as a form of embodied action, next examining dialogue as a means of enacting a critically affirmative politic...
Article
Full-text available
The contributions to this forum have highlighted how the limits to scholarly dialogue are multiple and have had serious consequences for the ways in which knowledges are produced and debated in the academy, the media, and wider society. In this rejoinder to the commentaries on our article, ‘The Possibilities and Limits to Dialogue’, we embrace the...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we look at the evolving relationships between the commodifi-cation of housing and the role of activism in the Irish context. We draw on the periodizations of Manuel Aalbers (2015), with respect to the changing role of housing, and Margit Mayer (2013), with respect to social movements as shaped by neoliberalism, to unpack the ways i...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper examines the neoliberal ideals that underpin participation and citizenship in the smart city and their replication mechanisms at European level. We examine self-proclaimed ‘citizen-focus’ projects funded by or aligned to the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) by way of analysing policy documents an...
Article
The modern retail store is a complex coded assemblage and data-intensive environment, its operations and management mediated by a number of interlinked big data systems. This paper draws on an ethnography of a retail store in Ireland to examine how these systems modulate the functioning of the store and working practices of employees. It was found...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we examine the current state of play with regards to the security of smart city initiatives. Smart city technologies are promoted as an effective way to counter and manage uncertainty and urban risks through the effective and efficient delivery of services, yet paradoxically they create new vulnerabilities and threats, including makin...
Preprint
In this short position paper we examine some of the dimensions and dynamics of the algorithmic age by considering three broad questions. First, what are the problematic consequences of life mediated by ‘algorithm machines’? Second, how are individuals or groups and associations resisting the problems they encounter? Third, how might the algorithmic...
Article
Full-text available
To date, research examining the socio-spatial effects of smart city technologies have charted how they are reconfiguring the production of space, spatiality and mobility, and how urban space is governed, but have paid little attention to how the temporality of cities is being reshaped by systems and infrastructure that capture, process and act on r...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that the ideas, ideals and the rapid proliferation of smart city rhetoric and initiatives globally have been facilitated and promoted by three inter-related communities: (i) `urban technocrats'; (ii) a smart cities `epistemic community'; (iii) a wider `advocacy coalition'. We examine their roles and the multiscale formation, and why despit...
Preprint
Full-text available
To date, critical examinations of smart cities have largely ignored their temporality. In this paper I consider smart cities from a temporal perspective arguing that they produce a new timescape and constitute space-time machines. The first half of the paper examines temporal relations and rhythms, exploring how smart cities are the products of and...
Poster
Full-text available
It can be observed that current city dashboard platforms are heavily reliant on traditional graph and map-based visualisation tools. While graphical communications have a long-established record of effective data communication, recent technological advances present scientists with new platforms to facilitate the exploration of city data by smart-ci...
Preprint
The modern retail store is a complex coded assemblage and data-intensive environment, its operations and management mediated by a number of interlinked big data systems. This paper draws on an ethnography of a superstore in Ireland to examine how these systems modulate the functioning of the store and working practices of employees. It was found th...
Article
This paper evaluates smart city (SC) initiatives in the context of re-using vacant property, focusing on the role of living labs (LL). LL utilise Lo-Fi technologies to foster local digital innovation and support community-focused civic hacking, running various kinds of workshops and engaging with local citizens to co-create digital interventions an...
Preprint
This paper critically appraises citizens’ participation in the smart city. Reacting to critiques that the smart city is overly technocratic and instrumental, companies and cities have reframed their initiatives as ‘citizen-centric’. However, what ‘citizen-centric’ means in practice is rarely articulated. We draw on and extend Sherry Arnstein’s semi...
Preprint
While there is a relatively extensive literature concerning the nature of smart cities in general, the roles of corporate actors in their production, and the development and deployment of specific smart city technologies, to date there have been relatively few studies that have examined the situated practices as to how the smart city as a whole unf...
Preprint
Hackathons – quick prototyping events for commercial purposes – have become an important means to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and the start-up economy in smart cities. Smart and entrepreneurial cities have been critiqued with respect to the neoliberalization of governance and statecraft. We consider the passions, inventions and imitations i...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper evaluates smart city (SC) initiatives in the context of re-using vacant property. More specifically, we focus on living labs (LL) and vacancy in general, as well as on their potential role in fostering creative economy-fuelled gentrification. LL utilise Lo-Fi technologies to foster local digital innovation and support community-focused c...
Preprint
In this paper, we argue that the ideas, ideals and the rapid proliferation of smart city rhetoric and initiatives globally have been facilitated and promoted by three inter-related communities. A new set of ‘urban technocrats’ – chief innovation/technology/data officers, project managers, consultants, designers, engineers, change-management civil s...
Preprint
In this paper we examine the current state of play with regards to the security of smart city initiatives. Smart city technologies are promoted as an effective way to counter and manage uncertainty and urban risks through the effective and efficient delivery of services, yet paradoxically they create new vulnerabilities and threats, including makin...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we examine the governmentality and the logics of urban control enacted through smart city technologies. Several commentators have noted that the implementation of algorithmic forms of urban governance that utilize big data greatly intensifies the extent and frequency of monitoring populations and systems and shifts the governmental l...
Working Paper
Full-text available
Preprint
This paper provides a short introductory overview of urban science. It defines urban science, details its practioners and their aims, sets out its relationship to urban informatics and urban studies, and explains its epistemology and the analysis of urban big data. It then summarizes criticism of urban science with respect to epistemology, instrume...
Article
This paper critically reflects on the building of the Dublin Dashboard – a website built by two of the authors that provides citizens, planners, policy makers and companies with an extensive set of data and interactive visualizations about Dublin City, including real-time information – from the perspective of critical data studies. The analysis dra...
Article
Full-text available
Software-enabled technologies and urban big data have become essential to the functioning of cities. Consequently, urban operational governance and city services are becoming highly responsive to a form of data-driven urbanism that is the key mode of production for smart cities. At the heart of data-driven urbanism is a computational understanding...
Preprint
Full-text available
To date, research examining the socio-spatial effects of smart city technologies have charted how they are reconfiguring the production of space, spatiality and mobility, and how urban space is governed, but have paid little attention to how the temporality of cities is being reshaped by systems and infrastructure that capture, process and act on r...
Article
Smart and data-driven technologies seek to create urban environments and systems that can operate efficiently and effortlessly. Yet, the design and implementation of such technical solutions are full of frictions, producing unanticipated consequences and generating turbulence that foreclose the creation of friction-free city solutions. In this pape...
Article
Full-text available
Data are an integral part of the smart city and are used as input for decision-making, policy formation, and to inform citizens and businesses. Re flecting on our experience of developing software applications which rely on urban data, this article examines the veracity of such data (their authenticity and the extent to which they accurately (in te...
Article
Full-text available
As many cities increase in size across multiple dimensions such as population, economic output and physical size, new methods for understanding and managing cities are required. Data produced by and about urban environments offer insight into what is happening in cities. Real-time data from sensors within the city record current transport and envir...
Preprint
This chapter considers the relationship between data and the city by critically examining six key issues with respect city dashboards: epistemology, scope and access, veracity and validity, usability and literacy, use and utility, and ethics. While city dashboards provide useful tools for evaluating and managing urban services, understanding and fo...
Article
Full-text available
As many cities increase in size across multiple dimensions such as population, economic output and physical size, new methods for understanding and managing cities are required. Data produced by and about urban environments offer insight into what is happening in cities. Real-time data from sensors within the city record current transport and envir...
Article
Full-text available
Geography is in the midst of a digital turn. This turn is reflected in both geographic scholarship and praxis across sub-disciplines. We advance a threefold categorization of the intensifying relationship between geography and the digital, documenting geographies produced through, produced by, and of the digital. Instead of promoting a single theor...
Preprint
Over the past decade the concept and development of smart cities has unfolded rapidly, with many city administrations implementing smart city initiatives and strategies and a diverse ecology of companies and researchers producing and deploying smart city technologies. In contrast to those that seek to realise the benefits of a smart city vision, a...
Article
Full-text available
More and more aspects of our everyday lives are being mediated, augmented, produced and regulated by software-enabled technologies. Software is fundamentally composed of algorithms: sets of defined steps structured to process instructions/data to produce an output. This paper synthesises and extends emerging critical thinking about algorithms and c...
Article
Full-text available
Big Data has been variously defined in the literature. In the main, definitions suggest that Big Data possess a suite of key traits: volume, velocity and variety (the 3Vs), but also exhaustivity, resolution, indexicality, relationality, extensionality and scalability. However, these definitions lack ontological clarity, with the term acting as an a...
Chapter
Big data consist of huge volumes of diverse, fine-grained, interlocking data produced on a dynamic basis, much of which are spatially and temporally referenced. The generation, processing, and storing of such data have been enabled by advances in computing and networking. Insight and value can be extracted from them using new data analytics, includ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine funding models for Open Access (OA) digital data repositories whose costs are not wholly core funded. Whilst such repositories are free to access, they are not without significant cost to build and maintain and the lack of both full core costs and a direct funding stream through payment-for-use pose...
Article
Full-text available
The development of big data is set to be a significant disruptive innovation in the production of official statistics offering a range of opportunities, challenges and risks to the work of National Statistical Institutions (NSIs). This paper provides a synoptic overview of these issues in detail, mapping out the various pros and cons of big data fo...
Chapter
Full-text available
A cognitive map is a representative expression of an individual's cognitive map knowledge, where cognitive map knowledge is an individual's knowledge about the spatial and environmental relations of geographic space. For example, a sketch map drawn to show the route between two locations is a cognitive map - a representative expression of the drawe...