Data Power in Action

Urban Data Politics in Times of Crisis

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence. Drawing on the study of different cities in the Global South, this book explores how data have become a generative force in shaping what cities are, how they are governed and inhabited, especially during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open access

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence

Drawing on the study of different cities in the Global South, this book explores how the intensive use of data changes politics, power relations and everyday life in contemporary cities.

Across the volume, expert contributors show how urban actors, from the state to activists, are increasingly using data as a resource to empower their actions and support their claims and shows how times of crisis are moments when the power of data is made visible.

Focusing on the different dimensions of data power and politics in the urban realm, this is an important contribution to our understanding of how datafication transforms the places in which we live and how we experience them.

Ola Söderström is Professor of Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. His work focuses on global dynamics of urban development, urban material culture, urban visual cultures, and tactics of urban living. His recent work has investigated critical forms of mobility (Critical Mobilities, Routledge, 2013), trajectories of urban globalization through relational comparisons of cities of the Global South (Cities in Relations, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), smart urbanism, and relations between urban living and psychosis.

Ayona Datta is Professor in Human Geography at University College London. Her research interests are in postcolonial urbanism, gender citizenship, and urban futures. She is author of The Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi Squatter Settlement (2012); co-editor of Mega-Urbanisation in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias of the Postcolonial State (2017) and Translocal Geographies: Spaces, Places, Connections (2011). Her recent work funded by the European Research Council (2022–26) examines regional futures emerging from the intersection of urban and digital geographies in the Global South.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.