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Reckoning with Data in Environmental Urbanism: Proliferation, Profiling and the Perils of Portrayal

Research Talk with Professor Hannah Knox, UCL

Info about event


Tuesday 28 March 2023,  at 13:00 - 15:00


Aarhus University, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Aarhus, building 1483, room 616, with videolink to Tuborgvej 164, Emdrup, room D120


Centre for Environmental Humanities and Research Program Future Technology, Culture and Learning

This talk explores the use of digital data as a tool of environmental urbanism. Building on work which has shown how digital technologies have profoundly shaped practices of urban governance and control, I question what happens when existing repositories of environmentally relevant data become newly mobilised as a tool of urban transformation in the face of the climate emergency. The paper takes as its focus a citizen-oriented initiative called Oldham Energy Futures, which has sought to enfold climate and energy data into a social-justice informed attempt at urban transformation. Using data as an invitation for citizens to engage with and participate in infrastructural and environmental dynamics which would otherwise remain out of view, data here reveals itself as a powerful way of re-mapping places and the socio-material relations through which they are sustained. As data enables places to become newly profiled and configured, place is refigured from a bounded context for urban intervention, to a site of ambivalence, history, complexity and (dis)empowerment. This opens up new trajectories for change, whilst also posing difficult questions about the possibilities and limits of participation in urban life. 

Astrid O. Andersen, Aalborg University
Sally Anderson, Aarhus University
Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University

About the speaker
Hannah Knox, UCL Professor and author of the book Thinking Like a Climate.

All are welcome, with no registration necessary. Coffee and tea provided. 

AU PhD students are also welcome to meet and converse with Hannah Knox over lunch before the event, from 11:30-13, in room 1483-656. If you would like to join the lunch, please email Shuhei Tashiro (PhD, Anthropology) at shutash@cas.au.dk no later than 23 March 2023.