Urban Analytics - Bristol Turing Fellows Projects Seminar Series, presenting also Newcastle and UCL led projects

7 October 2021, 10.30 AM - 7 October 2021, 12.00 PM

Dr Levi Wolf, Professor Rachel Franklin & Dr Jack Stilgoe

Urban Analytics


Dr Levi Wolf, Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Human Geography and Dr Sean Fox, Senior Lecturer in Global Development, University of Bristol (10:30am - 11:00am)

Consistent urban areas for global urban polimetrics

Formal urban boundaries drawn by the government often do not reflect the effective territory of the city. This problem, urban political fractionalisation, is difficult to study, this project aims to develop and apply a new method for bounding urban areas using satellite imagery as well as applying these data to analysis of political fractionalisation.

Professor Rachel Franklin, Professor of Geographical Analysis, Newcastle University (11:00am -11:30am )

Urban Analytics

Much attention is given to fairness and equity in the smart city, whether algorithmic bias, surveillance or socio-economic inclusion. This talk directs attention to an explicitly spatial component of the smart city apparatus: sensor networks and the emergence of coverage gaps—or sensor deserts. How are cities and other stakeholders to make decisions about placement and where does coverage of vulnerable groups and places fit in? The talk provides a conceptual overview of the sensor location-spatial inequality dilemma, gives a case study example from Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, introduces a decision support tool prototype, and concludes with some thoughts for both researchers and those on the ground working with smart city sensor networks, including local governments, policymakers, and community groups

Dr Jack Stilgoe, Senior Lecturer, Department of Science and Technology Studies UCL (11:30 - 12:00)

The attachments of ‘autonomous’ vehicles - A social science approach

The ideal of the self-driving car replaces an error-prone human with an infallible, artificially intelligent driver. This narrative of autonomy promises liberation from the downsides of automobility, even if that means taking control away from autonomous, free-moving individuals. We can look behind this narrative to understand the attachments that so-called ‘autonomous’ vehicles (AVs) are likely to have to the world. Drawing on 50 interviews with AV developers, researchers and other stakeholders, we explore the social and technological attachments that stakeholders see inside the vehicle, on the road and with the wider world. These range from software and hardware to the behaviours of other road users and the material, social and economic infrastructure that supports driving and self-driving. We describe how innovators understand, engage with, or seek to escape from these attachments in three categories: “brute force”, “solve the world one place at a time” and “reduce the complexity of the space”.


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The Jean Golding Institute The Alan Turing Institute


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