The smart city currently appears as an object of dreams and desires in the minds of politicians, technologists and to some extent the greater public. This sub-project seeks to understand how the smart city, and the infrastructure development surrounding and constituting it, reconfigure relations between public and private actors. Data plays a central role in this imaginary, a source of potential for innovation by private actors or for improved efficiency of public services. This is evident in projects such as the Copenhagen City Data Exchange (CDE), a marketplace for exchanging datasets related to the city. These phenomena are investigated ethnographically by attending to the events, workshops and conferences that concern the development of the smart city. The project asks what sort of work these events do in enacting the smart city, speculating on the techniques and reconfigurations that could prime the organisation and the city for the use of smart city data. The sub-project also enters into active rapport with actors in the field, and explores the data sprint as a generative methodology for co-creating knowledge based on data and establishing a didactic relationships concerning digital tools, techniques and processes. In this way the sub-project both studies and provides a space for relational work amongst the organisations and actors active in promoting data as a maker of the future of the city of Copenhagen.

Project members: Associate Professor Marisa Cohn,  Associate Professor Christopher Gad, PhD Fellow Michael Hockenhull 

Research question: How are relations between the public and private sector being reconfigured for the data economy?

Theme: Public-Private Partnership