X

On Democracy in dataland

In this article for the Dutch Journal for Urbanism and Spatial Planning, we reflect on the changing role of the architect and urban planner in the age of data. Information on our surroundings becomes increasingly available to everyone. This causes governments and experts to lose their monopoly on knowledge. So far, however, the public hasn’t used open data to its full potential. Does Tocqueville’s ‘soft despotism’ explain this reticence? The Dutch people by and large still rely on the state government to plan our environment, as it has done for the past century. Their newly found autonomy seems a bit... Read More

In this article for the Dutch Journal for Urbanism and Spatial Planning, we reflect on the changing role of the architect and urban planner in the age of data.

Information on our surroundings becomes increasingly available to everyone. This causes governments and experts to lose their monopoly on knowledge. So far, however, the public hasn’t used open data to its full potential. Does Tocqueville’s ‘soft despotism’ explain this reticence? The Dutch people by and large still rely on the state government to plan our environment, as it has done for the past century. Their newly found autonomy seems a bit overwhelming.

Open data will affect the work of architects and urban planners – spatial experts – too: In times of reduced government spendings we find new clients, lacking spatial routines but equally data-hungry. The designer becomes their interpreter of the ‘open source city’. We organize interest groups and we collect information that matters from an ocean of data. And most importantly, we combine individual interests into shared value for the commons.

Open data allows people to find shared interests and act on them. We’ve got our work cut out for us: Together we make city.

Read the article (in Dutch) here.

FACTS
Program: Article

Client: S+RO Magazine
Year: 2013
^