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Ways of Knowing Cities

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Technology mediates how we know and experience cities, and the nature of this mediation has always been deeply political. Today, the production and deployment of data is at the forefront of projects to grasp and reshape urban life. Ways of Knowing Cities considers the role of technology in generating, materializing, and contesting urban epistemologies—tracing an arc from ubiquitous sites of “smart” urbanism, to discrete struggles over infrastructural governance, to forgotten histories of segregation now naturalized in urban algorithms, to exceptional territories of border policing. Bringing together architects, urbanists, artists, and scholars of critical migration studies, media theory, geography, anthropology, and literature, the essays stage a deeply interdisciplinary conversation, interrogating the ways in which certain ways of knowing are predicated on the erasure of others. In this opening, the book engages the information systems that structure urban space and social life in it, historically and in the present moment, to imagine alternative practices and generate new critical perspectives on spatial research.

Ways of Knowing Cities includes texts by Eve Blau, Simone Browne, Maribel Casas-Cortes, Wendy Chun, Sebastian Cobarrubias, Beth Coleman, V. Mitch McEwen, Orit Halpern, Charles Heller, Shannon Mattern, Leah Meisterlin, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Dietmar Offenhuber, Lorenzo Pezzani, Anita Say Chan, and Matthew W. Wilson.