“Moving in Data”: The Open Data Gaze as a form of Municipal Statecraft in the Entrepreneurial City

  • Author / Creator
  • Globally speaking, data-driven urbanism is on the rise. As data becomes more readily available and important in contemporary economies, municipal governments are adopting new ways of managing and planning cities. By transforming themselves via urban data, cities can position themselves to be economically competitive, embedded in global networks, and increasingly connected to their citizens. Edmonton is a city that has reacted to these global trends and adopted smart city policies and data-driven processes. By implementing initiatives such as the Smart City Strategy (2017) and the Open City Policy (2015), and creating the Open Data Program, Edmonton has capitalized on this digital shift and positioned itself to use data and technology to promote and manage growth.

    This research set out to address the following question: how has data-driven urbanism unfolded in Edmonton, Alberta? It addresses this question using a multi-method qualitative research approach which included key informant interviews, policy document analysis, and a case study of the Open Data Program. To analyze data-driven urbanism in Edmonton scholarly literature on data-driven urbanism, entrepreneurial urbanism and the data gaze was applied.

    Through researching data-driven urbanism in Edmonton, the thesis developed an original concept: the open data gaze. The open data gaze describes the discourses, infrastructures and practices at work in Open Data Program, and how they work together to apply and expand the data gaze. The thesis concludes with an exploration of the open data gaze in relation to literature consulted. This exploration addresses how the open data gaze acts as an exemplar of municipal statecraft. As a form of municipal statecraft, the open data gaze is applied towards entrepreneurial ends. The City of Edmonton uses the open data gaze as a process for transforming Edmonton into a data-driven city. This transformation is predicated on the desire to become an entrepreneurial city. Ultimately, the thesis concludes that the open data gaze can be understood as a process by which data-driven urbanism in Edmonton is entrepreneurialized.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.