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While acknowledging the city as a site of disciplinary and technological disruption, this paper introduces Bratton’s stack theory as a way to understand smart cities more generally, and Waterfront Toronto specifically. We build on Bratton’s position by closely examining twenty-first century histories and anthropologies related to the internet, privacy, and the dominance of big data. Our principal concern is with the transformation of personal and environmental data into an economic resource. Seen through that particular lens, we argue that Toronto’s smart city has internalized relations of colonization whereby the economic objectives of a multinational technology company take on new configurations at a local level of human (and non-human) information extraction—thereby restructuring not only public land, but also everyday life into a zone of unmitigated consumption.
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Big Data, Big Rhetoric in Toronto’s Smart City
T. F. Tierney
To cite this article: T. F. Tierney (2019): Big Data, Big Rhetoric in Toronto’s Smart City,
Architecture and Culture, DOI: 10.1080/20507828.2019.1631062
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Big Data, Big Rhetoric in Torontos
Smart City
T. F. Tierney
ABSTRACT While acknowledging the city as a site of disciplinary and
technological disruption, this paper introduces Brattons stack theory as
a way to understand smart cities more generally, and Waterfront
Toronto specifically. We build on Brattons position by closely examining
twenty-first century histories and anthropologies related to the internet,
privacy, and the dominance of big data. Our principal concern is with
the transformation of personal and environmental data into an
economic resource. Seen through that particular lens, we argue that
Torontos smart city has internalized relations of colonization whereby
the economic objectives of a multinational technology company take
on new configurations at a local level of human (and non-human)
information extractionthereby restructuring not only public land, but
also everyday life into a zone of unmitigated consumption.
This paper examines Sidewalk Labs recent partnership with the City of
Toronto to develop a new type of smart city along their Eastern
Waterfront. Sidewalk Lab is a subsidiary of Google LLC, which reorganized
its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Under the
new configuration, Googles search, data aggregation, and advertising
subsidiaries, were joined by Sidewalk Lab and its suite of urban products:
high-speed broadband services, Android Pixel2 phone, mobile mapping,
T. F. Tierney
School of Architecture,
University of Illinois, Urbana
Champaign, Champaign, IL,
Keywords: urban studies,
smart cities, network
technologies, Internet of
Things, data privacy, urban
planning, citizen participation
Volume 7/Issue 3
November 2019
pp. 113
No potential conflict of
interest was reported
by the author.
© 2019 Informa UK
Limited, trading as Taylor &
Francis Group
autonomous cars, artificial intelligence, smart homes, and all of the data
captured therein.
While the citizens of Toronto have been told that the
implementation of smart technologies will result in a better, healthier,
safer environment, what else is at stake? Sidewalk Labs rhetoric is based
on an oversimplification of the issues; yet to be discussed are the
unintended consequences related to data collection, ownership and
privacy in a fully networked environment. As a means to critically
understand the relationship between personal data and governance, we
apply a second-generation Design Theory and Methods framework which
advocates a mixed-methods approach.
We begin by introducing
Benjamin Brattons Stack Theory as a way to conceptualize the logics of
digital capitalism more generally, and smart cities specifically. Then, we
narrow our lens to closely examine Torontos twenty-first-century urban
history as it relates to Googles proposal to implement intelligent
infrastructures in the Eastern Waterfront. Our principal concern is with
the transformation of personal and environmental data into an economic
resource. Subsequent analysis leads us to advance a notion that Torontos
Eastern Waterfront project represents a post-industrial colonial model,
one that extracts personal and environmental data as an economic
resource, redefining the citizenry as a commodity. We conclude by
suggesting that increased citizen involvement and regulatory oversight
will be required in order to protect longstanding civic rights.
Stack Theories
A brief review of contemporary theories is instrumental as we seek to
understand the logics of emerging smart cities.
Benjamin Bratton
describes a global information economy termed The Stack,which
delineates a form of digital capitalism. According to Bratton, The Stack is
not simply a way to map political geography but also a way to name the
forces defining that territory. In that sense, it is both a theoretical
machine and a thing, what he describes as a schema of machines.An
example is an algorithm, which is both an abstract machine and an
agency of action because it does things in the world. For Rob Kitchin and
Martin Dodge, this aspect is characterized as code/space,defined as
when software and the spatiality of everyday life become mutually
constituted, that is, produced through one another.
Code/space is
increasingly pervasive in everyday life ranging from airport check-in
kiosks to self-service check-out lanes at grocery stores to mobile apps
such as Ubers. For Stephen Graham, the phenomenon is described as a
ubiquitous computerized matrix of ever more connected devices, which
are layered over and through everyday urban landscapes, bringing into
being radically new styles of movement, interaction, consumption and
politics, in a sense they become the city(original emphasis).
The Stack provides a framework to conceptualize the way that
technology conscribes, shapes and disciplines its users within the urban
Big Data, Big Rhetoric in
Torontos Smart City
T. F. Tierney
environment. What we are describing is an all-encompassing global
computation system, one that includes energy generation, distribution
grids, off-site server farms (the cloud) and information and communication
networks, in addition to users.The system as a whole, according to
Bratton, should be viewed not as a hodgepodge of different species of
computing, spinning out on their own at different scales and tempos,
[rather] we should see them as forming a coherent and interdependent
whole(my emphasis).
Those technologies align layer by layer, into
something vast and pervasive, if also incomplete: a software and hardware
stack. However, The Stack is neither static nor inert; it is a highly reflexive
system, operating as a feedback loop. For smart cities, such as Torontos
Eastern Waterfront, the informational stack collects urban data (including
data from residents) and then automatically recalibrates to accommodate
infrastructural demands, tuning the city in real time.
As we consider The Stack and digital capitalism, we must also
turn our attention to the broader field of technical arrangementsthat
relate to specific forms of power and authority in society.
Wood and
Graham have discussed new forms of social control enabled by The
Stacks software-ordered city. They perceive automated surveillance as
the set up for legitimating discrimination over individual actions. As they
argue, software coded space of smart city displays an overt attempt to
monitor and record human behavior at a distance, whether that is for
constructive, detrimental or neutral intentions although such systems
are often promoted as infallible, logical and free of human prejudice.
Those very same software assemblages may be enforced through
legislation; however, governance is just as much invented by those
processes as are the things it governs. Within Stack Theory, the algorithm
effectively acts as the state in that the state functions autonomously
and is thus no longer subject to the will of its citizens.
Torontos Recent Histories
What would a city look like if you started from scratch in the
internet era if you built a city from the internet up? (Dan
Doctoroff, Founder of Sidewalk Labs
Whether for increased efficiency, profitability or surveillance, there has
been a move toward greater command and control in everyday life. During
the 1980s, IBM and Microsoft effectively colonized the work environment
by introducing a suite of computational programs and methods to
corporations, which was soon followed by the fully networked office. The
very nature of such computational exchanges allows for the monitoring of
each and all actions: regulating employeestime, spying on their
correspondences, doing costbenefit analysis along with more traditional
accounting. Having successfully conquered the office territory, technology
conglomerates, including Google among many others, began searching for
new markets to colonize. Although cities have been competing for the
campuses of mega corporations by offering tax breaks (most recently to
Amazon), Alphabet advanced those ideas further by actively seeking
urban environments to implement its ideas and products. While planners
such as myself have proposed test-bed situations to obtain more
accurate feedback, it was always with the intention of working with
existing institutions or entities, for example universities, or in the
European Union, in innovation areas such as Issy in France or Zaragoza in
However, building a new city from the Internet up is a different
project. How are we to better understand what is being proposed?
First, some background. In 2015, Googles international holding
company went through a rebranding and reorganization effort and
changed its name to Alphabet Inc.
Under the new umbrella, Googles
search, data aggregation and advertising subsidiaries were joined by
Sidewalk Lab and its suite of urban products: high-speed broadband
services, Android Pixel2 phone, mobile mapping, autonomous cars,
artificial intelligence and smart homes and all of the data captured by
those devices. During the repackaging phase, Doctoroff turned his gaze
toward clean slate scenarios”–which is to say sites that are
unencumbered by complex histories and regulations to be used as a
test ground for Sidewalks products, where it could begin vigorously
promoting its services.
In New York City, public internet kiosks known as
LinkNYC were installed to serve as repeaters of a larger mesh networked
system connecting diverse transit systems.
Since transportation is one
of the first targets for disruption (Alphabet owns sixteen percent of Uber
and eighteen percent of Lyft), during that period Sidewalk Labs also
began testing its cloud-mobility software, FLOW, in partnership with
several other municipalities.
As a result, Sidewalk Labs was better
prepared than most planning firms when Waterfront Toronto sent out a
request for proposalsto develop an industrial zone into a city for 10,000
residents. In June 2017, the development corporation had winnowed the
request for proposalsresponses to a short list, although that list was
never made public.
Then, in September, Waterfront Toronto announced
that the commission had been awarded to Sidewalk Labs. Typically, a city
awards a contract to a planning firm for services to be rendered, but in
Toronto the relationship was reversed. According to the terms of the
agreement, Google will pay the city of Toronto $50 million to develop
the site. If the development goes ahead as planned, Sidewalk Toronto
will be one of the largest examples of a smart city project in
North America that is, a place built around data-driven, automated,
networked technologies.
Sidewalk Labs 156-page proposal describes a city of the future
with elevated pedestrian walkways, delivery drones and autonomous cars. A
smart city such as Torontos Eastern Waterfront is informed by the logic of
the multilayered or stackedprotocol structure, in which network
technologies operate within a modular, vertical order. A smart city is
effectively implemented through intelligent infrastructure (WiFi and Internet
Big Data, Big Rhetoric in
Torontos Smart City
T. F. Tierney
of Things (IoT)), which also includes, but is not limited to, mobile phones,
laptops, cameras, cars and sensors all of which will collectively supply
information that will be used to manage assets and resources more
efficiently. The data will be processed and analyzed to monitor and manage
traffic and transportation systems, power plants, water supply networks,
waste management, law enforcement, information systems, schools,
libraries, hospitals and other community services. Sidewalk Labs claims
that its involvement will result in the optimization of resources and a
reduction in energy use.
Overall, Googles vision promises an effective, efficient city for its
residents through the integration of information and communication
technologies, and of the various physical devices connected to the
network the Internet of Things. Ideally, networked technologies will
allow city officials to interact directly with both community and city
infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city and how the
city is evolving in real time. Information and communication technologies
can be used to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban
services; to reduce costs and resource consumption; and to increase
communication between citizens and government. Locating Alphabet/
Googles new Canadian headquarters on the site, along with new Alphabet
employee housing, and new employee services, including an autonomous
transit infrastructure, will facilitate this vision.
Unfortunately, greater specifics are lacking, not only with regards
to the undisclosed financial arrangement with the city of Toronto but,
more importantly, with regards to protection of citizen data and privacy.
The Eastern Waterfront will be laden with sensors and cameras tracking
everyone who lives or works in, or merely passes through, the area. While
such surveillance promises safety, it is also unremittingly invasive.
Sidewalk Labs is also demanding the suspension of existing planning and
transportation regulations that govern other areas of the city planning
regulations that were created for the protection of health and safety of
residents. Suspending these has never been tried before, and the
consequences are unknown. This partnership not only threatens existing
planning practices (what architecture and planning firm can compete
with a rival that offers $50 million to a client?), but the worlds largest
searchingmappingdrivingadvertising company is throwing its
resources behind an urban Internet of Things, permanently embedding its
search, geo-location, sensors and delivery broadband into the
urban fabric.
Post-industrial Colonialism
Facebooks sales motto is Build big communities and you will
own them.
Our principal concern with Torontos Eastern Waterfront is the role of
personal and environmental data as an economic resource. One definition of
consumption is the process by which the substance of a thing (in this case,
data) is incorporated or transformed into something else (a commodity).
Google has built an online empire by quantifying everything: clicks, page
views, GPS coordinates, visits, traffic. The company's resource is information
about people, which it mines, packages, repackages, repackages again and
then reuses to sell you stuff.
Let us take another example: Facebook
creates an online community where its members create content about their
everyday lives. At the same time, Facebook owns that community.
Facebook then collects data on its community members, aggregates their
data and sells that personal data to advertisers. In a similar way, Sidewalk
Labs intends to develop a thirteen-acre site to house a physical community,
collect data on that community, analyze its memberspersonal data and sell
it to advertisers. But in a strategic move, Alphabet can also sell its own suite
of urban products (high-speed broadband, Android mobile phone, apps,
advertising, etc.) back to the community.
Is this what twenty-first-century
colonialism looks like? Or is the arrangement quid pro quo? Alphabet says it
is giving resources back to Toronto, but at the same time it may extract
billions of dollars from the community over time, using tools ordinary citizens
have no access to.
In the past, a colonial economy referred to a system of production
and consumption, introduced to fulfill the states economic demands for
new resources, markets and investments. In a way similar to how England
aggressively expanded the colonial project during the eighteenth century, so
too Torontos Eastern Waterfront has internalized relations of colonization
whereby the economic objectives of a multinational technology company
take on new configurations at a local level of human (and non-human)
information extraction thereby transforming not only public land, but also
everyday life into a zone of unmitigated consumption (consumption here
being defined as the extraction, processing and resale of information).
Thus, Sidewalk Labs has effectively colonized the post-industrial city.
Now Alphabet attempts to negate its colonial aspirations by
calling its design operations a platform.Let us consider the definition of
Uber as an urban platform.The European Union courts determined that
Uber is not a platform. Rather, it is a closed transit company,wherein
the corporation controls everything and thus it should be regulated.
However, no similar regulation as yet exists in the United States.
Policy and Governance
At Waterfront Torontos citizens meeting on November 10, 2017,
residents expressed two main concerns: that the reliance on data for
decision-making was too heavy; and that those data decisions were
perceived to be infallible. Those concerns are not insignificant. According
to the New York Times,byextending the surveillance powers of one of
the worlds largest technology companies from the virtual world to the
real one raises privacy concerns for many residents [Planners] caution
that, when it comes to cities, data-driven decision-making can be
misguided and undemocratic.
With data analysis, there is no
Big Data, Big Rhetoric in
Torontos Smart City
T. F. Tierney
consideration of context, no opportunity for expression or deliberation or
debate. Data decides. In Sidewalk Labsscheme, residents provide
(unpaid) feedback about the products they use but without gaining any
political agency in return.
The tendency to regard technology as value-neutral is merely a
way to evade the inherent political controversies and consequences.
The increasing power of technology corporations in determining everyday
interactions is moving from the Internet to the physical world, which has
serious consequences for urban governance. Waterfront Torontos
partnership with Sidewalk Labs not only signals a different model of
planning practice, but also a conceptual shift away from citizen toward
data generator/consumer. Currently, technology companies mine data
with little regulation and without disclosure as to what purpose the data
will serve. It is Alphabets stated goal to track who you are and what you
do, including location and off-platform activities. The assembling of this
information and the use of it to predict and manipulate future choices
may mean that we become unable to distinguish the menu of restricted
options from our own ideas.
In that context, If you're not paying, you're the product being sold
means that users are Googlesproduct.
Not only do usersgenerate
free data and content, but also Google sells usersinformation to
advertisers. While consumers benefit from convenience, the price is high.
What appears to be an emphasis on lifestyle customization at the user end
is actually veiling the commercial practice of personal data mining on the
provider end. Users perceive a gain in control, whereas they are in fact
being constantly monitored.
Looking closely at application of Stack logic
in everyday life, social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff reflects on that social
reality and describes an economic imperative where private, human
experience has been unilaterally claimed for the market and relabeled
behavioural data.Technology companies such as Facebook or Google
routinely collect data for profit; in addition, they are also learning to shape
peoples behavior to better serve their economic objectives.
Individual data
collection and processing effectively implements a surveillance economy,
not only in theory, but also for Sidewalk Labs, as an applied science.
The full implications of routine urban data collection have not
been thoroughly discussed; it is seldom questioned how data will be
gathered and processed, by whom it will be managed, whether it is
possible to opt out from the system without penalties, what we are
securing ourselves from and who will eventually profit from such invisible
processes. There are other serious concerns, particularly the possibility of
algorithmic profilingby domestic police forces. Studies have shown that
law enforcement has structured biases in its data-driven models.
According to informatics researcher, Shannon Mattern:
Contemporary models of actuarial justiceand predictive
policingdraw correlations between specific risk factors and the
probability of future criminal action. Courts and police make
decisions based on proprietary technologies with severe
vulnerabilities: incomplete datasets, high error rates,
demographic bias, opaque algorithms, and discrepancies in
administration Key analyses, even decisions about where to
deploy resources, are automated, which means that no human
need ever look at the actual raw data.
The practice of algorithmic profiling makes each connected device
important as a policy matter, because data can be used to make
decisions about not only policing, but also everyday matters such as
obtaining insurance, employment, credit or housing with the possibility
of creating new forms of racial, gender or other discrimination against
protected classes.
At present, neither the US Federal Communication Commission
(FCC) nor the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have imposed any
regulation or protections. While the FTC ruled that Facebook has engaged
in unfair and deceptivepractices with regard to changes made to its
privacy settings in 2009, those rulings were later rescinded.
experts say there must be restrictions on the collection, compilation and
analysis of data about people whether anonymous or not. One sure way
to keep platforms such as Google in check is to prevent them from
appropriating all of the adjacent peripherals which corresponds with
Sidewalks suite of urban products.
Most importantly, it is critical to
treat other technical components of the emerging platform landscape
from services that can verify our identity to new payment systems to geo-
locational sensors as actual infrastructure and/or utilities. This step is
essential to ensure their citizen oversight.
The rhetoric of smartnessconfers an ideology of efficiency, optimization
and safety. Googles Sidewalk Labs perpetuates those myths, including
the infallibility of big data to make accurate decisions.
While urban
planners rely on data to better understand the city and its residents, their
education in the social sciences prepares them to conceptualize data as
only one part of the planning process. It is through exposure to the social
sciences that interpretive critique is mastered, which includes identifying,
describing and analyzing multiple enactments of the city and
understanding how they are made present or absent. Planners are
trained to reduce bias through their methodologies, including the forming
of hypothesis, qualitative methods and peer review. There is warranted
concern about smart cities among professionals and laypersons alike
related to the use and operations of data.
Returning to Bratton, if The Stacks primary means and interests
are ciphering the worlds information, then Stack logic defines the world
as information. Bratton cautions that we the humans are not its essential
agents and our well-being is not its primary goal.
Further, if The Stack
Big Data, Big Rhetoric in
Torontos Smart City
T. F. Tierney
functions autonomously, where does governance take place? And for what
end? We are left with a dilemma. According to Stephen Graham, to
decouple technology from the matter of politics is to ignore other
formative aspects of urban history: economic and ecological parasitism,
forms of socio-political exclusion, and a dependence of
commercial exchange.
Given todays slippery redefinition of citizenry and urban
sovereignty, governance has not done enough to address the challenges
of technology giants. In a similar project, in Columbus, Ohio, technology
conglomerates failed to fulfil their promised objectives.
With regards to
privacy, the Republic of France sued Google for privacy breaches, as has
Germany and many other countries.
If the European Union courts
determine that Google broadband and self-driving transit act not as
platformsbut instead as utilities, then it follows that these utilities
require oversight and regulation. For Toronto, what can we rely on?
Human rights or end-user agreements?
While it is understood that cities are complex, messy and
perennially changing, it seems clear that the bigger issue here is that a
city is not fundamentally a technological problem.
Sidewalk Labs can
attempt to justify the collection and analysis of citizen data as a means
to better predict and plan for the efficient deployment of resources (as
well as the unstated goal as to shape consumptive desires), but without
citizen oversight or regulation, how can we know that the data will be
secure? And for what end? Those questions have not yet been answered.
Whatever happens in Torontos future however we, as citizens, decide to
apply smart technologies we must ensure that any ongoing
developments lead to cities that are more humane, not less.
Note: An expanded version of this article will be published in
Architecture _MPS (Architecture Media Politics Society) in Spring 2019, 15
(1) under the title Torontos Smart City: Everyday Life or Google Life?
T. F. Tierney is Associate Professor of Architecture with a designated
emphasis in new media at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign,
USA. As founding director of the URL: Urban Research Lab, Tierney
explores the intersection between networked technologies and the built
environment. During 2013, Tierney was a US Delegate to Smart & Digital
Cities in France; she was selected for the quality of her research in the
application of new technologies to build the next generation of cities.
Tierney also serves on the editorial board of The BartlettsARENA Journal
of Architectural Research, University College London. Recent publications
include Intelligent Infrastructure: Zipcars, Invisible Infrastructure and Urban
Transformation (UVa Press, 2017); and The Public Space of Social Media:
Connected Cultures of Network Society (Routledge, 2013), which was a
finalist for the Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Award.
This work was supported by University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Scholars Travel Grant [190031].
1 Google LLC is a technology company that
specializes in Internet-related services
and products. These include online
advertising technologies, search engines,
artificial intelligence, cloud computing,
software and hardware. In August 2015,
Google reorganized its various interests
as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc.
Under the new umbrella, Googles
search, data aggregation and advertising
subsidiaries were joined by Sidewalk Lab
and its suite of urban products: high-
speed broadband services, Android
Pixel2 phone, mobile mapping,
autonomous cars, artificial intelligence,
smart homes and all of the data
captured therein.
2 Christopher Alexander, Horst Rittel, Chris
Jones and Bruce Archer were four key
members who founded the Design Theory
and Methods Movement that argued for
the application of a rational approach to
design and research. At University of
California Berkeley, Rittel went on to
propose a second generationof design
methodology that places a larger value on
user participation. The present-day third
generationfocuses on computational
design methodologies. From Christopher
Reznich, 1973: Horst Rittel & Design
Methodology,Medium, February 19, 2017,
7921763949fd. (accessed August 10, 2018)
3 Benjamin Bratton, The Stack (Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 2015). This model,
informed by the logic of the multilayered
or stackedprotocol structure, in which
network technologies operate within a
modular, vertical order, offers a
comprehensive image of emerging
smart cities.
4 Rob Kitchen and Martin Dodge, Code/
Space: Software and Everyday Life
(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011), 16.
5 Stephen Graham, Cities Under Siege: The
New Military Urbanism (London: Verso,
2011), 63.
6 Bratton, The Stack,5.
7 Langton Winner, Do Artifacts Have
Politics?,in The Whale and the Reactor:
A Search for Limits in an Age of High
Technology, ed. L. Winner (Chicago, IL:
University of Chicago Press,
1986), 1939.
8 David Murakami Wood and Stephen
Graham, Permeable Boundaries in the
Software-sorted Society: Surveillance
and the Differentiation of Mobility,in
Mobile Technologies of the City, ed. M.
Shellar and J. Urry (London: Routledge,
2006), 178.
9 Daniel L. Doctoroff, Reimagining Cities
from the Internet Up,Medium,
November 30, 2016, https://medium.
(accessed July 16, 2017)
10 The author was a US Delegate for the
Consulate General of France in San
Francisco Smart & Digital Cities Tour in
2013. See
html. (accessed August 10, 2018)
11 Most of Alphabet's staff are employed at
Googles corporate headquarters, as are
those of Android, YouTube, Google Apps,
Google Maps and Google Ads. Another
seven companies have been established
as Alphabet subsidiaries: Calico, Google
Life Sciences, Nest Labs, Google Fiber, X,
Google Ventures and Google Capital.
Alphabets vertical integration of
products is conceptualized as urban
building blocks a software/hardware
grammar that enables a smart city.
12 Alphabets real-estate division looked at
approximately 150 different cities to find
an ideal experimental site.
13 While New York promoted the kiosks as
free public Internet access, the search
engines were disabled when low-income
Big Data, Big Rhetoric in
Torontos Smart City
T. F. Tierney
residents began to use the kiosks. See
Patrick McGeehan, Free WiFi Kiosks
Were to Aid New Yorkers. An Unsavory
Side Has Spurred A Retreat,September
14, 2016,
kiosks.html. (accessed July 21, 2018)
14 In 2016, the Department of
Transportation solicited research
proposals for a $50 million Smart City
Challenge. Alphabet, AT&T and other
corporations obtained provisions from
the Department of Transportation to
partner with the winner. Columbus
winning proposal had a strong social
focus, promising to use transportation to
improve the citys underserved
neighborhoods. Autonomous vehicles
would be used to link the Linden
neighborhood, where unemployment is
three times the overall city average, to a
nearby job center. City officials said that
the new service would also help poor
families get better access to health care
and other essential services. They
promised that the $50 million grant
would serve the low-income population
by creating transit cards for ride-hailing
services, even if those residents did not
have a smartphone or a bank account.
As of January 2018, Columbus has not
implemented any of those services for
South Linden residents. Refer to: http://
(accessed July 23, 2018)
15 According to Carol Webb of Waterfront
Toronto: The Request for Proposals, and
the responses, included confidentiality
provisions and only the name of the
successful proponent was announced.
The names of the other proponents were
not made public.Email correspondence
with author, January 8, 2018.
16 The Eastern Waterfront development will
be primarily populated by Alphabet
employees who are able, affluent and
healthy, thus skewing the experiment
results. While Sidewalk Labs
promotional film illustrates an inclusive
city, its 156-page design proposal does
not mention Torontos underrepresented
populations the unemployed, single
parents and the uneducated.
17 In November 2017, the company took
another step toward implementation,
launching four new labsthat will work
on housing affordability, health care and
social services, municipal processes and
community collaboration.
18 Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden
DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook (New
York: Penguin, 2017), 165.
19 Consumption,Business Dictionary,
definition/consumption.html. (accessed
January 15, 2018)
20 Adam Greenfield, Radical Technologies
(London: Verso, 2017), 24.
21 Galloway, Four, 165.
22 We do not mean to imply that Sidewalk
Toronto residents will not have other
choices. While all residents will access
Alphabets broadband network,
restricting the type of phone or apps
would not be possible, although
Alphabet employees most likely, either
through peer pressure or otherwise, will
be encouraged to use Android products.
23 Most platforms are parasitic: feeding
off existing social and economic
relations. They dont produce anything on
their own they only rearrange bits and
pieces developed by someone else. Given
the enormous and mostly untaxed
profits made by such corporations, the
world of platform capitalism, for all its
heady rhetoric, is not so different from
its predecessors.Eygeny Morozov,
Where Uber and Amazon Rule: Welcome
to the World of the Platform,The
Guardian, June 6, 2015, https://www.
economy. (accessed December 30, 2018)
24 During its first two years in operation,
Sidewalk Labs looked at 152 places in the
United States and several others around
the world for a site to begin building cities
of the future. See Ian Austen, City of the
Future?,New York Times,December
29, 2017.
25 Chamee Yang, The Paradox of Urban
Mobility and the Spatialization of
Technological Utopia,in Intelligent
Infrastructure: Zipcars, Invisible Networks
& Urban Transformation, ed. T. F. Tierney
(Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia
Press, 2017), 186208.
26 Thanks to Professor Jean Pierre Protzen
for forwarding Data for the Garbage
Disposal,Neue Z
urcher Zeitung,
December 8, 2017.
27 Credited to Andrew Lewis in his blog,
MetaFilter, by Tim OReilly (@timoreilly),
September 2, 2010,, https://
22823381903 (accessed July 16, 2017).
28 Felix Stadler, Between Democracy and
Spectacle: The Front-End and the Back-
End of the Social Web,in The Social
Media Reader, ed. Michael Mandiberg
(New York: NYU Press, 2012), 242256.
29 Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of
Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a
Human Future
at the Frontier of Power (New York:
PublicAffairs Books, 2019), 810.
30 Shannon Mattern, Databodies in
Codespace,Places, April 2018,
in-codespace. (accessed May 2, 2018)
31 According to a Los Angeles Times article,
the FCC protects consumers when they
sign up for or use their broadband
connection, and the FTC protects them
when they use the products and services
running over that network, for example
websites, social networks and streaming
services. In 2016, the FCC adopted rules
requiring broadband providers to obtain
explicit permission from consumers
before using their sensitive personal
data for purposes other than providing
broadband. Advocates for repealing
those protections argue that they create
consumer confusion by establishing
two sets of rules: one for broadband
providers, set by the FCC; and another
for online products and services,
policed by the FTC. See Terrell
McSweeny and Mignon Clyburn,
The Commissioners of the FTC and
FCC Are Worried About
your Online Privacy,Los Angeles Times,
March 31, 2017, http://beta.latimes.
html. (accessed December 2, 2018)
32 The Internet, similar to water, energy or
telecommunications, is a public utility,
and should be regulated as such. See
Cecilia Kang, Court Backs Rules
Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury,
New York Times, June 14, 2016, https://
court-ruling.html. (accessed December
8, 2018)
33 Also known as Scientific Rationalism.
34 Bratton, The Stack,8.
35 Graham, Cities Under Siege, 79 (citing
Kipfer and Goonewardena).
36 Jonathan Beard, a longtime community
developer at the Columbus Compact
Corporation, sees a bait-and-switch
approach Columbus has a history of
using social equity as a guise to obtain
government funding, without fulfilling its
promises to low income residents. By
Columbusown admission, those
opportunities havent reached poor,
predominantly African American
neighborhoods such as South Linden.
Laura Bliss, Who Wins When a City
Gets Smart?,CityLab, November 1,
542976/. (accessed January 25, 2018)
37 Charles Arthur, Google Facing Legal
Threat from Six European Countries Over
Privacy,The Guardian, April 2, 2013,
policy-legal-threat-europe. (accessed
January 20, 2018)
38 Bratton, The Stack,9.
39 Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber,
Dilemmas in a General Theory of
Planning,Policy Sciences 4, no. 2
(1973): 155169.
Arthur, Charles. 2013. Google Facing
Legal Threat from Six European Countries
Over Privacy.The Guardian, April 2.
Big Data, Big Rhetoric in
Torontos Smart City
T. F. Tierney
Austen, Ian. 2017. City of the Future?
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Bliss, Laura. 2017. Who Wins When a City
Gets Smart?CityLab, November 1. https://
Bratton, Benjamin. 2016. The Stack: On
Software and Sovereignty. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press.
Doctoroff, Daniel. 2016. Reimagining
Cities from the Internet Up.Medium,
November 30.
Galloway, Scott. 2017. The Four: The
Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook,
and Google. New York, NY: Penguin.
Graham, Stephen. 2011. Cities Under
Siege: The New Military Urbanism. London:
Greenfield, Adam. 2017. Radical
Technologies: Software and Everyday Life.
London: Verso.
Kang, Cecilia. 2016. Court Backs Rules
Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury.
New York Times, June 14. https://www.
Kitchen, Rob, and Martin Dodge. 2011.
Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Mattern, Shannon. 2018. Databodies in
Codespace.Places, April. https://places-
McGeehan, Patrick. 2016. Free WiFi
Kiosks Were to Aid New Yorkers: An
Unsavory Side Has Spurred a Retreat.
New York Times, September 14. https://
McSweeny, Terrell and Mignon Clyburn.
2017. The Commissioners of the FTC and
FCC Are Worried About Your Online
Privacy.Los Angeles Times, March 31.
Morozov, Eygeny. 2015. Where Uber and
Amazon Rule: Welcome to the World of the
Platform.The Guardian, June 6. https://
Reznich, Christopher. 2017. 1973: Horst
Rittel & Design Methodology.Medium,
February 19.
Rittel, Horst and Melvin Webber. 1973.
Dilemmas in a General Theory of
Planning.Policy Sciences 4, no. 2:
Stadler, Felix. 2012. Between Democracy
and Spectacle: The Front-End and Back-
End of the Social Web.In The Social
Media Reader, edited by M. Mandiberg,
242256. New York, NY: New York
University Press.
Winner, Langton. 1986. Do Artifacts Have
Politics?In The Whale and the Reactor: A
Search for Limits in an Age of High
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Wood, David M. and Stephen Graham.
2006. Permeable Boundaries in the
Software-sorted Society: Surveillance and
the Differentiation of Mobility.In Mobile
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Sheller and J. Urry, 177191. London:
Yang, Chamee. 2017. The Paradox of
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... Menurut Hatuka dan Zur (2020), kondisi tersebut menjadi salah satu parameter yang menyebabkan kurangnya partisipasi publik dalam kebijakan kota cerdas. Oleh karena itu, elemen keamanan dalam menggunakan teknologi kota cerdas harus dijamin melalui regulasi sebagai instrumen formal yang melindungi aspek privasi setiap masyarakat (El-Haddadeh dkk., 2019;Tierney, 2019). ...
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... And of that, their decisions would henceforth be influenced by those of their peers. (Ahuja & Khosla, 2019;Tierney, 2019;Xu et al., 2018;Yadav et al., 2021) 3. METHODOLOGY ...
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Smart Homes system has gained a huge demand in last few years as they improve the standard of living and give user an easy life. Any house that is integrated with automated technology (i.e., has connectivity in nearly all devices) is called a smart home. The concept of smart home can be explored more by IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud computing through which daily household activities and device can be controlled, monitored and managed using wireless communication techniques. These days’ big organizations are investing heavily in this technology and coming up with new updates that are increasing new business opportunities and the expansion in acceptance of IoT technology especially in companies that produce raw materials, automobile industry and health care sector are encouraging the market growth in a positive way. The research study will analyze the demand, trends and consumer behavior of smart home devices and its potential impact on business turnover, economy and market. The survey will be based on primary data collection with the help of questionnaire. A ranking of the various critical success factors provided the list of factors that consumers that Indian consumers believe to be important while adopting an IoT enabled smart home.
... This problematic relationship between big tech and spaces is visible in Google's sibling company's project for a public area in Toronto, Canada. Although not realized, and currently cancelled, their proposal of a smart and extensively connected city brought up questions surrounding not only the pervasiveness of technology in public spaces but also around the project's deliberate opaqueness regarding the collection and utilisation of the data generated in this public space (Tierney, 2019). ...
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This text investigates the consequences of merging the architectural product - habitats, with artificial intelligence. More specifically, it tries to answer how architecture can implement artificial intelligence to produce emergent programs through spatial reconfigurations in housing projects. Developed alongside the Public Parts project, this report addresses the development of a housing platform. In the project, the combination of AI and the built environment is sought after to empower the communal autonomy of its inhabitants. The proposed setup uses artificial intelligence as an architectural component that manages interior spaces, configured by the behaviour of the inhabitants. The problems that arise from the deployment of machine learning algorithms are also analysed, as these involve issues of collection, usage and ownership of data. Additionally, the research refers to the work of authors such as Matteo Pasquinelli, Tiziana Terranova, Molly Wright Steenson, John Frazer and the collective Laboria Cuboniks, to construct a theoretic, technical and social framework through which the proposed combination between technology and spaces is addressed and the research positioned. Referential contemporary and historic practices are also studied, situating the project relatively to these examples. Moreover, details on how AI is utilised in the project are disclosed, demonstrating how the knowledge gathered throughout the research are translated into design propositions.
Preface The 2022 8th International Conference on Advances in Environment Research (ICAER 2022) was held successfully during April 22–24, 2022. The conference fosters communication among researchers and practitioners working in various scientific areas with a common interest in improving advances in environmental research. Many researchers, engineers, academicians, and industry professionals worldwide presented their research results and development activities. This conference was initially to be hosted offline in Singapore. However, due to the spread of COVID-19, the complexities of the pandemic among the many countries involved, and the strict entry-exit management of the local government, the conference committee decided to hold ICAER 2022 as a virtual conference. In the context of the normalization of the epidemic, ICAER 2022 online mode can effectively guarantee safety, arouse the enthusiasm of participants, and increase attendance due to the restrictions of the pandemic. The ICAER 2022 proceedings are a collection of outstanding submissions from universities, research institutes, and industries. The papers were peer-reviewed by conference committee members and international reviewers. The manuscripts selected depended on their quality and their relevancy to the conference. This volume intends to present advances in environmental research and related areas, such as environmental science and technology, environmental dynamics, global environmental change and ecosystems, soil decontamination, environmental sustainability, health and the environment, and environmental dynamics. We express our deepest gratitude to all authors for their effort in preparing papers. We thank the organizing committee, reviewers, speakers, chairpersons, and sponsors for their valuable advice in the organization and helpful peer review of the papers. Georgetown, SC, USA James T. Anderson
The present study explores how wood can act as a catalyst for construction and architecture that facilitates the creation of sustainable and resilient communities, preventing landscape degradation and restoration. We selected the stilt houses of Chiloé Island as a case study due to (1) the unique vernacular architecture; (2) the geographical morphology that has allowed from its genesis as a city to build in wood and sustainable materials; (3) the unique transportation system (minga), (4) management of its gentrification, despite being an iconic tourist destination in Chile, and (5) being a sustainable territory, with the management of its density, despite being an island and highly populated. We developed the methodology through the constructive analysis of a typical stilt house, woods used in its process, and interviews that show these constructions’ internal dynamics. We conclude that wood acts as a catalyst for construction and architecture that facilitate the creation of sustainable and resilient communities, preventing landscape degradation and restoration, as has occurred in the Chilote case.KeywordsWood constructionVernacular architectureSustainable communitiesResilient communities
Governments across the world are experimenting with smart city technologies but recent studies suggest that not all citizens support this development. However, a comprehensive understanding of citizen discontent with the smart city is missing. This study systematically reviews academic research addressing citizen discontent with the smart city. Based on a set of 58 articles, two perspectives on citizens' discontent are identified. One perspective focuses on active discontent: citizens are dissatisfied with the technology, democratic process, and societal impact of the smart city and show different types of behavior to express their discontentment. The other perspective emphasizes passive discontent: citizen discontent does not manifest itself due to citizens' lack of awareness and skills and the absence of channels to express their discontentment. Both perspectives on discontent suggest different government responses respectively to overcome citizen discontent through ‘the right technologies’, ‘the right rules’, and ‘the right information’, or to stimulate critical citizenship through ‘the right to smart city education and empowerment’ and the ‘right to participate and challenge’. Based on our findings, a fine-grained understanding of attitudes and behavior, and government actions to address citizen discontent is developed.
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Renewable energy and climate change are two of the most important and difficult issues facing the world today. The state of the art in these areas are changing rapidly, with new techniques and theories coming online seemingly every day. It is important for scientists, engineers, and other professionals working in these areas to stay abreast of developments, advances, and practical applications, and this volume is an outstanding reference and tool for this purpose. The paradigm in renewable energy and climate change shifts constantly. In today’s international and competitive environment, lean and green practices are important determinants to increase performance. Corresponding production philosophies and techniques help companies diminish lead times and costs of manufacturing, to improve delivery on time and quality, and at the same time become more ecological by reducing material use and waste, and by recycling and reusing. Those lean and green activities enhance productivity, lower carbon footprint and improve consumer satisfaction, which in reverse makes firms competitive and sustainable. These topics are all covered here, in this comprehensive, practical, new groundbreaking volume, written and edited by a team of experts in the field.
An urgent want remains for cities to get smarter, as to handle huge-scale urbanization and finding new methods to manipulate complexity, increase efficiency and improve excellence of lifestyles. With the urbanization progress, urban control is going through a chain of evocations within the new state of affairs. Smart city which is a modern form of municipal construction, flourished gradually in quick development scheme of a new intelligence technology. For the construction and betterment of smart cities, big data technology serves important support. Therefore, by reviewing forty papers, this research represents the characteristics of smart city as well as villages, analyzes the solicitation of big data technologies in smart city or smart village design and shows the findings which could be used by the researchers to do further research.
Agricultural production in urban areas has a direct role in providing fresh food sources, reducing transportation costs and loss rates during storage and transportation. This study was conducted with the following objectives: survey the current status of agricultural production in Thu Dau Mot city (Vietnam); identify factors affecting sustainable urban agriculture development, and evaluate the weight of each factor. Implementation methods include: secondary survey of information and documents; primary survey of households through 200 paper questionnaires; aggregate data using excel and apply multi-criteria evaluation technique MCE to determine the weight of the factors. The research results have summarized the actual situation of urban agricultural production in the area. 4 factors have been identified at level 1 with weight (Weight) respectively: Technology and technique (0.48), Economy (0.24), Environment (0.16) and Society (0.13). At the same time, four limiting factors to sustainable urban agriculture development were found from 26 secondary factors. The global weights of these factors are respectively: Product sales (0.10); Product preservation and processing (0.09); Solid waste (0.08) and Health and spirit (0.04). Through identified limiting factors, the study proposes solutions on: technology and engineering, economy, society and environment. These findings have practical value in Thu Dau Mot urban development planning in particular and reference for other similar cities in Vietnam.
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This paper examines a popular program of the ‘Smart Mobility’ proposed for and widely taken up in today’s networked urban management worldwide. While it was observed that the governmental rhetoric of efficiency, security and economic growth strongly buttressed the high-technologization of networked urban infrastructure, the paper urges to think more seriously about such proposals, in terms of their sociopolitical implications and ramifications that affect the everyday life of residents. It is then explained how contestations among diverse interest groups have engendered a number of systematic paradoxes that accompany the process of adopting ‘new’ technologies – virtual mobility that confines human bodies in relative stasis, ubiquity of monitoring exercised by the ‘invisible’ technology, and the fast circulation of capital that is supported by a systematic differentiation of population. Lastly, by contextualizing the geopolitical and historical background of ‘U-City’ project in Songdo (South Korea), the paper illustrates how the developmental aspiration of local government has made it into a utopian project that hinges its hope on the latest technological innovation to solve its perceived problems.
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An analysis of the ways that software creates new spatialities in everyday life, from supermarket checkout lines to airline flight paths. After little more than half a century since its initial development, computer code is extensively and intimately woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. From the digital alarm clock that wakes us to the air traffic control system that guides our plane in for a landing, software is shaping our world: it creates new ways of undertaking tasks, speeds up and automates existing practices, transforms social and economic relations, and offers new forms of cultural activity, personal empowerment, and modes of play. In Code/Space, Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge examine software from a spatial perspective, analyzing the dyadic relationship of software and space. The production of space, they argue, is increasingly dependent on code, and code is written to produce space. Examples of code/space include airport check-in areas, networked offices, and cafés that are transformed into workspaces by laptops and wireless access. Kitchin and Dodge argue that software, through its ability to do work in the world, transduces space. Then Kitchin and Dodge develop a set of conceptual tools for identifying and understanding the interrelationship of software, space, and everyday life, and illustrate their arguments with rich empirical material. And, finally, they issue a manifesto, calling for critical scholarship into the production and workings of code rather than simply the technologies it enables—a new kind of social science focused on explaining the social, economic, and spatial contours of software.
A proposal that The Stack--an accidental information technology megastructure--is both computational apparatus and model for a new geopolitical architecture.
The search for scientific bases for confronting problems of social policy is bound to fail, becuase of the nature of these problems. They are wicked problems, whereas science has developed to deal with tame problems. Policy problems cannot be definitively described. Moreover, in a pluralistic society there is nothing like the undisputable public good; there is no objective definition of equity; policies that respond to social problems cannot be meaningfully correct or false; and it makes no sense to talk about optimal solutions to social problems unless severe qualifications are imposed first. Even worse, there are no solutions in the sense of definitive and objective answers.
"The questions he poses about the relationship between technical change and political power are pressing ones that can no longer be ignored, and identifying them is perhaps the most a nascent 'philosophy of technology' can expect to achieve at the present time."—David Dickson, New York Times Book Review "The Whale and the Reactor is the philosopher's equivalent of superb public history. In its pages an analytically trained mind confronts some of the most pressing political issues of our day."—Ruth Schwartz Cowan, Isis
Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism. London: Verso
  • Stephen Graham
Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury
  • Cecilia Kang
The Commissioners of the FTC and FCC Are Worried About Your Online Privacy
  • Terrell Mcsweeny
  • Mignon Clyburn