Sarah Barns

Essays and other writing

Recent news and views across urban data strategy, creative programming and digital place-making. 

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Mine your data: open data, digital strategies and entrepreneurial governance by code

A recent article on the uses of open data by city governments. A recent shift in the rhetorical aspirations of the open data movement away from the values of openness and transparency and towards a more confined focus on value generation raise important critical questions for urban geographers concerned with the nature of urban governance in an age of big data.

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Sounds Different: Listening to the city

Reflecting on the impact of public conveyances in the city of Berlin during the first years of the twentieth century, Georg Simmel wrote,

"The interpersonal relationships of people in big cities are characterised by markedly greater emphasis on the use of the eyes than that of the ears. This can be attributed to the institution of public conveyances. […] Before buses, railroads and trains became fully established during the 19th century, people were never in a position to have to stare at one another for minutes or even hours on end without ever exchanging a word."

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