"Undoing Optimization" by Alison B Powell

Undoing Optimization Civic Action in Smart Cities Alison B Powell

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
13 Apr 2021
ISBN:
9780300223804
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
224 pages: 216 x 140mm

City life has been reconfigured by our use—and our expectations—of communication, data, and sensing technologies. This book examines the civic use, regulation, and politics of these technologies, looking at how governments, planners, citizens, and activists expect them to enhance life in the city. Alison Powell argues that the de facto forms of citizenship that emerge in relation to these technologies represent sites of contention over how governance and civic power should operate. These become more significant in an increasingly urbanized and polarized world facing new struggles over local participation and engagement. The author moves past the usual discussion of top-down versus bottom-up civic action and instead explains how citizenship shifts in response to technological change and particularly in response to issues related to pervasive sensing, big data, and surveillance in “smart cities.”

Alison B. Powell is associate professor of media and communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science and is affiliated with the Ada Lovelace Institute. She lives in London, England.