Urban Informatics in the Science and Practice of Planning
Journal of Planning Education and Research August 2018
The vast amount of data being generated in and about cities creates both an opportunity and a dilemma for urban policymakers and planners. This paper articulates the theoretical, practical, and pedagogical foundations for the fields of urban informatics and civic analytics and outlines the challenges to effectively applying big data and computational methods to urban management, policy, and planning. It describes the state of the field, defines the range of applications in the urban context, and presents key considerations in training scientists that both acknowledge and capitalize on shifting modes of learning, working, and decision making. Situated within the ethical and moral landscape of data analytics, it articulates the knowledge and skills needed by future urban science practitioners and concludes with a discussion of data-driven problem solving in the urban context.