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Digital Urbanisms Conference

Fri, Oct 11, 2019    9:30am

Digital Urbanisms

The development of urban digital technologies and the deployment of digital information have evolved into a mutually reinforcing feedback loop between distributed sites of data production and extraction, and the planning and design of data-driven and evidence-based landscapes. Mobile social media, networks of sensors, and the ecology of connected devices termed the “Internet of Things,” among others, constitute infrastructures that harvest information, while advancing techniques of analysis and visualization have begun to describe and design sociopolitical and built environments in their image. Digital Urbanisms is a one-day symposium bringing together urban researchers and practitioners – planners, architects, geographers, organizers, and entrepreneurs – to take stock of the digital processes and products shaping cities, their promises, and problems, and discuss alternatives and approaches for operating within and against the uneven spaces they characterize.

This event will be live-streamed check back here on the day of the event for live updates.

AM: Material, Materiel

Infrastructures: Digital Materiality
This session aims to contextualize the conference and ground discussion at the intersection of the digital and material environment and its implications. Topics include the development of urban sensors, the regulation of broadband access and usage, the ubiquity of locative media, and the changing landscape of urban mobility. It will collectively draw out critical tensions (for justice, inclusion, access, privacy, etc.) and the ways that places are designed with and through their embedded technologies.

Nerissa Moray, Associate Director, Planning & Development, Sidewalk Labs
Vinhcent Le, Technology Equity Council, The Greenlining Institute
Tara Pham, Founder and CEO, Numina Co
Mimi Sheller, Director, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Professor of Sociology, Drexel University
Moderated by Malo Hutson, Director, Urban Community and Health Equity Lab, Associate Professor, Columbia GSAPP

Datascapes: Systems of Representation
This session questions the analysis and visualization of ‘big, social’ data. It examines the implications and suggestions, as well as its descriptions of social space with the hope of spurring a non-binary discussion of research and practice with respect to urban data and its representation(s) – whether visual, textual, statistical or otherwise conceived and made public.

Laura Bliss, West Coast Bureau Chief, CityLab
Justin Hollander, Professor and Director Urban Attitudes Lab, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
Taylor Shelton, Assistant Professor, Geography and GIS, Mississippi State University
Moderated by Mark Wasiuta, Co-Director, Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices, Columbia GSAPP

PM: Information, Action

The afternoon keynote and panels build upon morning’s conversation with presentations centered around the implications of these technologies.

Keynote to by Ruha Benjamin, Associate Professor, African American Studies, Princeton University. Response by Leah Meisterlin.

Data and Democracy
This session explores the implications of urban digital tech and data usage for public participation, engagement, citizenship, and inclusion. This dialogue between panelists in a range of different fields aims to raise questions and critique as well as highlight practices and opportunities for action, intervention, and organizing.

Greta Byrum, Co-Director, Digital Equity Laboratory, The New School
Janice Gates, Director for the Equitable Internet Initiative, Detroit Community Technology Project
Renee Sieber, Associate Professor, Geography, McGill University
Moderated by Susan McGregor, Assistant Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Assistant Professor, Columbia Journalism School

Methodologies and Media
This is a conversation on hybridity – engaged and situated research as a mode of practice; design and visualization as modes of urban research – from different spatial disciplines and perspectives which explore the epistemologies of digital or data-driven tools and techniques and their implications for the spaces, places, and claims produced.

Craig Dalton, Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Geography, Hofstra University
Annette Kim, Associate Professor and Director Spatial Analysis Lab, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
Mark Shepard, Associate Professor and Director of Media Arts and Architecture Program, University at Buffalo
Moderated by Laura Kurgan, Director, Center for Spatial Research, Professor, Columbia GSAPP

Reception and Book Signing
Ruha Benjamin’s publications Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity 2019) and Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (Duke University Press 2019) will be available for sale and signing.

Organized by Leah Meisterlin, Assistant Professor Columbia GSAPP.
Free and open to the public with Advanced registration is encouraged but does not guarantee seating. Seating is limited and first-come, first-served. Register Here.

View the complete event program and speaker biographies here.

Digital Urbanisms

Part 1