Archinect - News 2014-11-28T18:10:50-05:00 http://archinect.com/news/article/101167408/creating-a-universal-language-for-city-data Creating a universal language for city data Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-06-05T15:28:00-04:00 >2014-06-10T20:22:13-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/cd/cddb56585e8b8e3396f9447f8f6b7bdc.jpg" width="514" height="286" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>City policymakers will have objective standards to compare their services and performance with other cities around the world. And just as significant, the people of cities &mdash; civic, business organizations, ordinary citizens &mdash; will be able to access the same new global standards.</p></em><br /><br /><p>This is a big, global deal. The <a href="http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">International Organization for Standardization</a>, based in Geneva, has issued a list of standards dictating the precise kind of data cities should be collecting, to gauge performance and character. Previously, comparisons between supposedly identical data points in different cities was not guaranteed to be "apples to apples". For example, one city's definition of "unemployment" being more restrictive than another's, making rankings faulty and discrediting performance grades.</p><p>View the <a href="http://citiscope.org/story/2014/here-are-46-performance-measures-worlds-cities-will-be-judged" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">46 indicators for cities to report on</a>, that will place them in line with the new ISO standards.</p><p>Regarding comparisons between cities, rigorously investigating the exact definition of any data sounds like an obvious consideration, but with the earnest and speedy surge in city's data collection, "more" seems to have been the optimal word, and not "stricter". In 2008, when the <a href="http://www.cityindicators.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Global Cities Indicators Facility at the University of Toronto</a> compared ranking metrics for seven world...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/85924595/methodolatry-and-the-art-of-measure Methodolatry and the Art of Measure Places Journal 2013-11-06T17:41:00-05:00 >2013-11-11T21:14:43-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/kg/kg10g9oro84bhilb.jpg" width="514" height="402" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The default recourse to data-fication, the presumption that all meaningful flows and activity can be sensed and measured, is taking us toward a future in which the people shaping our cities and their policies rarely have the opportunity to consider the nature of our stickiest urban problems and the kind of questions they raise.</p></em><br /><br /><p> What do corporate smart-city programs have in common with D.I.Y. science projects and civic hackathons? &ldquo;Theirs is a city with an underlying logic,&rdquo; writes Shannon Mattern, &ldquo;made more efficient &mdash; or just, or sustainable, or livable &mdash; with a tweak to its algorithms or an expansion of its dataset.&rdquo;</p> <p> On Places, Mattern argues that the new wave of urban data science (and solutionism) is trending toward an obsession with data-for-data&rsquo;s-sake and an idolization of landscape research methods.</p>