SUSVIEWS is a transdisciplinary project in which artists and scholars cooperate to explore how a variety of civic and professional stakeholders perceive and react to the use of ‘smart’ technologies for the purpose of urban safety management.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and (big) data are increasingly leveraged as a ‘smarter’ way of managing urban challenges. You could think of challenges like preventing traffic congestion, the reduction of energy consumption, easier ways to reach municipal services, and so on. Municipalities, businesses, knowledge institutions and citizens themselves are involved in a multitude of experimental projects to make cities smarter in this way. Also in the realm of urban safety we can see how different stakeholders are developing new projects and technological applications as a way towards ‘smart urban safety’. However, as ‘smartification’ of urban safety becomes more prevalent, so do questions about, for instance, surveillance, privacy, social justice and technological control.
In SUSVIEWS we develop a methodology to bring stakeholders in smart urban safety together in a playful, engaging way. We do this by drawing on the practice of data walks, developed by the Centre for BOLD (Big Open and Linked Data) Cities at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The purpose of our project is to explore different perspectives on smart urban safety, and to explore the possibilities and limitations of publicly legitimate smart urban safety futures. Although our focus is on the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, we develop an approach and methodology that could be used across different regional and urban contexts.
The research team
SUSVIEWS is part of a PhD project by Vivien Butot who is researching citizen perspectives on smart urban safety. In SUSVIEWS Vivien is joined by dr. Josué Amador from Codarts, and Pendar Nabipour from the Willem de Kooning Academy. This transdisciplinary cooperation is driven by the need to explore creative and speculative methodologies for research in a field that is characterized by challenges of awareness and engagement.