Accepted Paper:

Making urban worlds: involving citizens, particles, sensors and cities  

Author:

Jennifer Gabrys (University of Cambridge)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation documents how citizen practices of using sensor technologies to monitor air quality in Southeast London generate distinct forms of involvement through the operationalization of monitoring technologies, particulate matter, urban problems, citizen data and community organization.

Paper long abstract:

This presentation documents how citizen practices of using low-cost and digital sensor technologies to monitor air quality and changing urban environments in Southeast London generate distinct forms of involvement through the operationalization of monitoring technologies, particulate matter, urban problems, citizen data and community organization. Citizen sensing data, in particular, generates distinct types of involvement (in the Whiteheadian sense), where entities are participating together to form new occasions. This analysis attempts to reroute engagement with citizen sensing to consider how citizen data about air quality is on the one hand involved with urban environments through sensor technologies; and on the other hand to consider how citizen data expresses lived experiences of urban environments. Urban sensing can become a way to make claims about urban environments by articulating individual and collective grievances about pollution, development, displacement and dispossession through data. Data practices in this way become demonstrations of urban citizenship, where urban involvement and a right to the city are performed through sensor data and on-the-ground observations. In these re-articulations and makings of urban worlds, there are also surfacings of new involvements of citizens and citizenship, as processes, openings and propositions, rather than as fixed prescriptions and definitions. Involvement through citizen sensing and citizen data then indicates the ways in which urban worlds are made, and how they are sustained.

Panel A04
Involving compounds