The acceleration of data generation has led some to believe that the world can now be understood in dramatically different and productive ways. More importantly, the distinct urban bias in both the people generating the data, and the places about which (and within which) the data are produced have given rise to a new orthodoxy— “urban science”—in understanding cities. Proponents of urban science, on the back of “big data” and technological interventions, are gaining ground in shaping the study of cities and urbanization processes in recent years. What is big data, and as it propels urban science research, will it reproduce the same fatal shortcoming of past quantitative revolutions in diminishing human agency? If so, how then can citizens be meaningfully involved in urban science? Relatedly, how can researchers who lean towards qualitative approaches contribute to urban science research? Finally, how should policy makers make sense of urban science? These questions will be answered (a) via a sympathetic critique of the urban science paradigm; (b) by deliberating, through various urban-technological innovations, the potential of citizen urban science.
About the Speaker
Harvey’s research focuses on critical urban studies, citizen urban science and policy-making, development geographies as well as the politics of nature-society interactions. He is a member of the International Editorial Advisory Board of the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Book Series (published by University of Georgia Press) and, since 2013, an editor of the leading geography-oriented, multidisciplinary journal, Geoforum.
At the LKYCIC, Harvey leads the Cities Cluster Research on “The Future of Asian Cities”. Harvey is also developing a research programme on “urban sustainability” at the LKYCIC, focusing on the issues of water, food and energy. His recent publications include a 2017 monograph, “Geographies of Meat” (Routledge Critical Food Studies Series) and a forthcoming article in Habitat International on urban sustainability and ecological modernization in China.
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