Early Stage Researcher Barbara Lazarotto (ESR 7) presented her research at the 1st Democracy & Digital Citizenship Conference Series, hosted by Roskilde Universiteit on September 29-30 2022 in Roskilde, Denmark.
As a part of the panel named “Data bodies/digital panopticon” Barbara presented her topic of “The myth of “dataism” and the construction of citizen-centered cities” exploring the role of sociotechnical imaginaries on the datafication of cities.
To do that, Barbara first presented the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries, explaining its role in pushing for the datafication of society, especially cities, promising impartial, reliable, and legitimate decision-making, yet giving the datafication and categorization of citizens and entire populations.
Barbara presented a solution of placing citizens at the center of the decision-making process of creating smart cities, connecting with Lefebvre’s idea of “Right to the City”. The new participatory city-making does not intend to replace the current democratic system but add to the current one new forms of citizen participation. At last, Barbara highlighted that Data Protection is also essential to increase citizen empowerment in cities, by enhancing data minimisation, transparency, and proportionality.