About this Research Topic
Digitally enabled platforms are reshaping cities in the twenty-first century. Platform-based activities, ranging from Uber and AirBnB to grassroots community activism, are spatially concentrated in cities and build upon existing uneven geographies while feeding into wider urbanization dynamics of economic development, environmental action, and everyday life. Urban platforms connect people and resources in new ways, recasting infrastructures as services, and make it possible for big data and monitoring logics to steer urban development. Platforms provide the glue that holds the Internet of Things together, underpin the promises of the smart city and so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, and blur conventional boundaries between formal and informal infrastructures.
This Research Topic focuses on the governance implications and possibilities of platform urbanism. Defining platforms broadly as any digitally hosted instrument to share or enable exchange of information or services, we are interested in the full range of platforms in cities of all sizes and in the Global North and South. We welcome contributions that explore:
- How logics, rationales and practices of governance are being transformed by digital platforms, and the ways in which they influence urban development;
- The role of data, code and Artificial Intelligence in governance strategies, and the ways in which urban knowledge is channeled and interpreted through platforms;
- Comparative studies of platforms and platform mobilities through trans-local linkages and international networks that exist across cities and/or sectors;
- Narratives, storylines and imaginaries of platforms as they relate to smart cities, resilience, urban experimentation and urban living labs, and other concepts;
- New constellations of platform governance that involve alliances of technical experts, politicians and policy makers, citizens and businesses;
- Uneven geographies of platform urbanism and the ways in which platforms reproduce, deepen or transform existing urban inequalities;
- The progressive potential of platforms to facilitate sharing, urban circular economies and the commoning of data
- How platforms reshape the interactions between economic development, social equity and environmental quality in cities.
Keywords: urban platforms, Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Urban Development, Governance
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.