Sarah Barns

Sarah Barns
Queensland University of Technology | QUT · School of Architecture, Design and Visual Arts

Doctor of Philosophy

About

45
Publications
10,453
Reads
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605
Citations
Introduction
A researcher, strategist and director with expertise across urbanism, data governance, data politics and urban media. Trained as a historical geographer and political economist, 20yrs experience working within public institutions, and researching them, and a passion for practice-based experiential storytelling & media arts. My Phd on the futures of digital urbanism completed in 2010; platform urbanism research commenced '13; new work on algorithmic urban governance beginning in 2021.

Publications

Publications (45)
Article
Full-text available
The twenty-first century is widely recognized as the century of the city, and in this intensive phase of urbanization ICTs are set to play an increasingly central role. Technology-led ‘ smart city ’ growth paradigms are becoming an integral part of the language of urbanization policy, enabling global technology vendors such as IBM, Cisco, HP and Si...
Article
Full-text available
Investment in the release of open data has become increasingly central to the implementation of smart city programs by governments around the world. Though originally arising out of a push towards “open government” and the pursuit of more transparent decision-making by public authorities at multiple scales, open data programs have more recently bee...
Article
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Urban informatics is positioned to offer unique insights into complex urban processes through use of big data and pervasive computing. This paper examines the rise of urban informatics as a field of expert urban knowledge, with a focus on the particular visions and epistemologies of the city embedded within the field. By exploring its emergence ove...
Article
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The proliferation of smart city policies worldwide in recent years has seen digital infrastructure, urban data and software design play increasingly central roles in the contemporary governance of the city. This article addresses the role of urban data platforms in supporting the delivery of smart city initiatives by city governments, with a view t...
Article
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The ‘Age of the Platform’ – or perhaps, more colloquially, “the uberisation of everything” is now well advanced. The successful execution of platform strategy by the world’s dominant global digital platforms – now simply known as GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) – has left management consultants everywhere championing the platform business mo...
Article
This commentary interrogates what it means for routine urban behaviours to now be replicating themselves computationally. The emergence of autonomous or artificial intelligence points to the powerful role of big data in the city, as increasingly powerful computational models are now capable of replicating and reproducing existing spatial patterns a...
Article
Full-text available
Today's digital platforms occupy sites of growing strategic significance in the daily lives of cities. Acting as infrastructures of urban exchange, platform services institute basic match-making capabilities between mobile subjects, whether for transportation, shopping, accommodation, dating, or, simply, public discourse. As is increasingly recogni...
Chapter
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Over the last decade, an increasing number of government agencies have developed urban data strategies and contributed to Open Data ecosystems. These initiatives, which look at supporting efficiencies and collaboration in city shaping, are crucial in realising the vision of sustainable, productive, and resilient cities. However, maintaining access...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the rise of platforms through the lens of platform economics, a particular sub-field of microeconomics active since the dot-com era. This field has developed important insights into specific tactics of platform influence. Key focus areas include the use of ‘steering’ tactics to engineer value-sharing, relational forms of plat...
Chapter
This chapter offers a set of concluding reflections about the different relations of value enacted through platform ecosystems, and argues that cities are well positioned to advance new regulatory approaches to platform governance that are underpinned by an ethics of public value. Widespread recognition of the value of platform ecosystems in the ac...
Chapter
This chapter offers an experiential introduction to the problematic of platform urbanism, reflecting the widespread integration of platform services and ecosystems within the everyday materiality of the city. With a pivot towards platforms evident across diverse literatures of platform studies, platform economics, platform surveillance and platform...
Chapter
This chapter reflects, in a personal way, on the disorientations wrought by smartphones, and the intensification of platform dependency from intimate to city-wide scales.
Chapter
This chapter addresses the advancement of platforms through the lens of platform economics, a particular sub-field of microeconomics active since the dot-com era. This field has developed influential ways of understanding specific tactics of platform influence, including use of ‘steering’ tactics to engineer value-sharing, relational forms of platf...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the experiential and performative natures of platform ecosystems as being critical to future engagement with platform urbanism. While much emerging platform literature addresses contemporary forms of surveillance, data capture, behaviour nudging, infrastructuralisation and value extraction, this chapter argues for a continued...
Chapter
In this chapter addresses a set of civic responses to platform intermediation that are focused around issues of urban data governance. This aims to highlight a range of alternate data governance models currently in play, which point to different roles for city authorities acting as custodians of their city’s data assets. The development of urban da...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the development of a ‘platform studies’ perspective on contemporary conditions of networked media and connectivity, and looks back on a critical decade that redefined the terms and conditions of our ‘always-on’ age. Where the early 2000s were characterised by a wild abundance of hyper-textual formations, giving rise to chat f...
Chapter
The recent adoption of a platform lens to understand contemporary dynamics of digital cities and digital geographies has also emerged through critical attention towards the politics of urban technology, informed by belief in the role of public space and urban media in shaping public culture. Attending to the urban politics of technology, this chapt...
Chapter
The chapter addresses more centrally how the creation of platform ecosystems implicates questions of urban governance. While platform services and companies are increasingly recognised as extractive in their programmatic approach to market steering, nevertheless there remain diverse forms of value-sharing and networked sociality active within platf...
Book
This book reflects on what it means to live as urban citizens in a world increasingly shaped by the business and organisational logics of digital platforms. Where smart city strategies promote the roll-out of internet of things (IoT) technologies and big data analytics by city governments worldwide, platform urbanism responds to the deep and pervas...
Article
The influence of global digital platforms today has brought attention to their growing significance as critical infrastruc-tures of urban societies. This paper addresses the different ways that platforms are coming into focus, evidenced by growing literatures on platform capitalism, the platform society, platform surveillance, and platform urbanism...
Chapter
The relationships between listening practices and urban experience have attracted attention in recent years as artists, media practitioners, architects, geographers and ethnographers have come to recognise phenomenological and sensory experience as neglected fields in the design and experience of cities. The concept of the soundscape, established b...
Data
PPT presentation at AAG 2014
Chapter
Full-text available
This essay contribution to Who We Are offers a personal, exploratory narrative that addresses the story of Parramatta’s contemporary transformation as one that speaks, in a locally grounded way, to the challenge of defining the meaning and history of places shaped by so many migrant cultures. Parramatta prides itself as being the ‘cradle of the col...
Chapter
Successful adaptation to climate change requires collective action by multiple actors operating at multiple scales. The Climate Adapted People Shelters (CAPS) project addressed the complex challenges of public exposure to urban heat, its impacts on the community and the need for smarter public transport infrastructure to improve the liveability of...
Book
Full-text available
The Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University has been working with the City of Parramatta to understand and document different patterns of migration as they have shaped Parramatta over time. This has been an exploratory exercise intended to shine a light on the diverse experiences and histories of arrival and settlement in Parr...
Technical Report
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I was commissioned by the Committee for Sydney to prepare a publication on the 'Data Smart' Sydney, and key proposals to support more effective use of data strategy for public planning and policy goals. The Report was published in December 2017 by the Committee for Sydney.
Presentation
Full-text available
Smart cities are often presented at the surface level - here’s a smart light, the smart bin. But how does the underlying data ecosystem operate, how is that managed and governed? For any kind of benefits to accrue, it’s important that this operate in a relatively ‘open’ interoperable way, across domains and systems. This presentation discusses the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Climate Adapted People Shelters (CAPS) project has initiated collaborative, design-led approaches to reimagining the place and function of bus shelters, specifically in response to conditions of increasing urban heat and extreme weather events in Western Sydney. This Report contributes to the research outputs of the project, with a focus on th...
Article
The urban built environment is underpinned by an increasingly complex digital infrastructure, which is posing a variety of unpredictable and unprecedented challenges for urban governance. The paper discusses how the new “hard” digital infrastructures such as broadband are accompanied by the need to understand the governance of public sector informa...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research project is a collaboration between SGS Economics and Planning (SGS) and Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), Western Sydney University (WSU). The focus for the research collaboration was to investigate available data and data visualisation methods to capture areas of transformation across Parramatta. Some key questions were: − H...
Article
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Large-scale projections onto urban architecture are an increasingly established form of public art, dazzling audiences and re-narrating the places and structures they are projected onto. This article examines one such projection work, Thinking Spaces, a two-week installation on the campus of the Australian National University in 2013. The artists s...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recognising the need to move beyond simplistic ‘smart city in a box’ solutions, which ignore complex local conditions and have failed to unlock substantive citizen engagement, today’s cities are no longer heralded as ‘smart’ simply by virtue of the technologies that underpin them, but through the ‘platforms’ they establish for ‘co-creation’ and ‘op...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recognising the need to move beyond simplistic ‘smart city in a box’ solutions, which ignore complex local conditions and have failed to unlock substantive citizen engagement, today’s cities are no longer heralded as ‘smart’ simply by virtue of the technologies that underpin them, but through the ‘platforms’ they establish for ‘co-creation’ and ‘op...
Article
Full-text available
This article is interested in how a tuning of the ear toward the auditory qualities of urban life presents new encounters with the historical geographies of the city and its spaces of technological modernity. It identifies the way a heightened appreciation of the auditory domain has helped disclose different ways of conceptually approaching the exp...
Chapter
Full-text available
The identity of suburbia, so far as it can be ascribed one, is shifting and insecure, a borderline and liminal space. Dominant stereotypes have listed it as ‘on the margins’ beyond edges of cultural sophistication and tradition’ and the areas that make up ‘sprawl’. But in the twenty-first century this static view has to be modified. As is evident f...
Chapter
Full-text available
This Chapter considers some of the ways in which we might encounter the elliptical invisibilities of contemporary ‘real-time ‘ cities using a variety of creative methodologies. Today, the ability to graphically enhance our imaging of cities as multi-scalar, networked environments offers profound potentials, introducing an array of new urban manage...
Preprint
Full-text available
PhD submitted to the University of Technology Sydney in August 2010, awarded in April 2011.
Data
Sounding Sydney: Selected sound marks ARCHIVAL TRACES OF RESONANT SPACES Practice-led component of non-traditional PhD

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
This is an ongoing project investigating critical challenges around urban data governance in an area of distributed computing, platform urbanism and smart cities. I've created this as a 'project' to better group my papers on this topic.