Big data and urban governance

L. Taylor, C. Richter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines the ways in which big data is involved in the rise of smart cities. Mobile phones, sensors and online applications produce streams of data which are used to regulate and plan the city, often in real time, but which presents challenges as to how the city’s functions are seen and interpreted. Using a socio-technical approach, we offer a critical evaluation of the types of data being used in urban governance and their advantages and drawbacks in comparison to previous information systems. Using examples from New York and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, we demonstrate how big data can both illuminate and obscure our understanding of urban development. We outline methodological considerations for the use of such data, offering conclusions towards the development of a critical urban data science.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeographies of urban governance: advanced theories, methods and practices
EditorsJ. Gupta, K. Pfeffer, H. Verrest, M. Ros-Tonen
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-21271-5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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