Soft Infrastructure of Decidim

Decidim Barcelona

 

We studied the Soft Infrastructure of the digital platform. Published under Creative Commons in Computational Culture Issue 9 (July 2023).

 

Paolo Cardullo, Ramon Ribera-Fumaz, and Paco González Gil (TURBA, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, UOC Barcelona)  offer an insider’s perspective on the development of Decidim, a free and open-source software platform for civic participation created in collaboration with Barcelona City Council under the recent mayorship of Ada Colau and Barcelona en Comu’. This platform is designed to foster accountability, transparency, and civic participation in local politics. Born partly out of the ‘movement of the squares’, the software strives to emulate the mass open decision-making and deliberation integral to city life. Here, the platform’s key developers reflect on its inception.

Open Access publication via Computational Culture, Issue 9, and the SocArXiv repository on Open Science Framework DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/JASD7

 

 

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kiddingthecity is…

 

…a webspace created by Paolo Cardullo in 2007 during his PhD at Goldsmiths University of London. It has gone through a few updates building up on my projects and publications

#OCTV

#OCTV

 

Art installation with CCTV cameras at Goldsmiths University of London. 2013

In conversation with media artist James Steven from the collective SPC, I curated an installation with CCTV cameras at Goldsmiths, University of London, in July 2013. This experiment complemented a panel discussion on video surveillance we organised at the International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) annual conference ‘Public Image’. The aim was to raise awareness of the complexities of CCTV systems and to open up a debate beyond the discourse of power and control, which CCTV is usually associated with. Pre-print (2017) CCTV oddity: Archaeology and aesthetics of video surveillance, Visual Studies, Routledge. DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2017.1328988 →→→SocArXiv pre-print @ Open Science Framework.

#OCTV consisted of six surveillance cameras streaming live from selected conference rooms to video displays positioned in each of the six rooms. Each camera feed was then linked to a webpage, made visible as a QR-code to scan, that is, as a composition of black and white pixels in the characteristic square shape. Any mobile phone was therefore able to connect to the ‘control room’ page, and then to switch to the desired camera.

→→→ see my collaboration to the ‘CCTV Sniffing’ workshops, powered by Deptfod.tv and SPC→→→ see my article about the ‘Sniffing’ workshops (2014)

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kiddingthecity is…

 

…a webspace created by Paolo Cardullo in 2007 during his PhD at Goldsmiths University of London. It has gone through a few updates building up on my projects and publications

Open Wireless Network

Open Wireless Network

 

Community wi-fi mesh in Deptford, London (2008-2014 ca.)

OWN was a mesh of Wi-Fi radios set up by James Stevens and SPC in 2008 in Deptford, London SE8, an innercity borough with a history of migration and working-class labour stretching to the imperial docks. Deptford features vast council-owned housing estates, housing associations, and still affordable solutions for students from the near Goldsmiths, University of London. OWN picked to more than 400 daily users and about 100 nodes, a few years ago. Due to funding and time constraints, as well as to the less stringent digital divide brought by 4g phones and flexible broadband provision, OWN was temporarily abandoned in 2014.

OWN set mostly around the Creekside, where the river Ravensbourne touches the strong tides of the nearby Thames. This is the latest gentrification frontier in SE London, with developers putting a lot of emphasis on the ‘cultural quarter’: Deptford is now said to be second only to Shoreditch for number of artists, studios, and exhibitions. In this controversial and evolving scenario, OWN provided free access to the ‘commercial Internet’ plus the possibility to experiment with mesh networking for local residents.

 

I was fortunate enough to be part of the early stages of this evolving network, hosting a node in my own flat for a few years, and participating to the weekly drop-in workshop called ‘Wireless Wednesday’. I have written a paper on the connections between wireless proximity and anonymity – published as a book chapter for Communicating the City (Peter Lange); and another one discussing the intricate connections between gentrification and the independent wireless network – this is now published as ‘Gentrification in the mesh? An ethnography of Open Wireless Network (OWN) in Deptford’, City (Routledge). The paper narrates a social history of OWN and the gentrification of Creekside →Download the pre-print

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kiddingthecity is…

 

…a webspace created by Paolo Cardullo in 2007 during his PhD at Goldsmiths University of London. It has gone through a few updates building up on my projects and publications

Zotpress and Me

What I have been reading (some) 

Some of the readings most recently added to My Zotero here rendered through the ZotPress plug-in

Cardullo, P. (2024). Being ‘Smart Citizens’ in the Smart City Today (No. OSF). pre-print Open Science Framework. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/eq4s6
Thames Water Considers Restricting Flow to London Data Centers. (2023, July 26). Bloomberg.Com. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-07-26/thames-water-considers-restricting-flow-to-london-data-centers
West London faces new homes ban as electricity grid hits capacity. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2024, from https://www.ft.com/content/519f701f-6a05-4cf4-bc46-22cf10c7c2c0
Tu Nube Seca Mi Río. (2023, September 26). https://tunubesecamirio.com/
Comment, P. J. (2022, August 16). Drought-stricken Holland discovers Microsoft data center slurped 84m liters of drinking water last year. https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/drought-stricken-holland-discovers-microsoft-data-center-slurped-84m-liters-of-drinking-water-last-year/
Siddik, M. A. B., Shehabi, A., & Marston, L. (2021). The environmental footprint of data centers in the United States. Environmental Research Letters, 16(6), 064017. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abfba1
Comment, S. M. (2021, October 21). Data center water usage remains hidden. https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/analysis/data-center-water-usage-remains-hidden/
Uptime’s 13th Annual Global Data Center Survey Shows Widening Range of Challenges. (2023, July 18). https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230718020841/en/Uptime%E2%80%99s-13th-Annual-Global-Data-Center-Survey-Shows-Widening-Range-of-Challenges
Tubbs, A. (2023, October 20). Data centres brace for new EU energy reporting obligations. Www.Euractiv.Com. https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/data-centres-brace-for-new-eu-energy-reporting-obligations/
Jiménez Arandia, P. (2024). Dry Land for Thirsty Data. Green European Journal. https://www.greeneuropeanjournal.eu/dry-land-for-thirsty-data/
Ajuntament de Barcelona. (2024). El projecte “Volem Decidir!” fomenta la participació infantil a Barcelona [Text]. Sant Martí. https://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/santmarti/ca/noticia/volem-decidir-un-projecte-pioner-per-fomentar-la-participacio-infantil-a-barcelona-2-3-3_1389046
Zandbergen, D., & Uitermark, J. (2020). In search of the Smart Citizen: Republican and cybernetic citizenship in the smart city. Urban Studies, 57(8), 1733–1748. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019847410
Zandbergen, D., & Blom, S. (2015). Smart City. In search of the Smart Citizen. https://vimeo.com/138648785
Kyong Chun, W. H., Soon, Wardrip-Fruin, N., & Zhu, J. (2022). Software Studies, Revisited. A Roundtable on the Software Studies Series at MIT Press. Computational Culture, 9. http://computationalculture.net/software-studies-revisited/
Robinson, J. (2022). Comparative urbanism: Tactics for global urban studies. John Wiley & Sons. https://www.wiley.com/en-es/Comparative+Urbanism%3A+Tactics+for+Global+Urban+Studies-p-9781119697565
Charnock, G., March, H., & Ribera-Fumaz, R. (2021). From smart to rebel city? Worlding, provincialising and the Barcelona Model. Urban Studies, 58(3), 581–600. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019872119
Törnberg, P. (2023). Platforms as States: The Rise of Governance through Data Power. In Data Power in Action (pp. 42–58). Bristol University Press. https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/85663/1/9781529233551.pdf
Söderström, O., & Datta, A. (2024). Data Power in Action: Urban Data Politics in Times of Crisis. Bristol University Press. https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/85663
Sequera, J. (Ed.). (2024). La ciudad de las plataformas. Icaria Editorial. https://icariaeditorial.com/ebook-libro-electronico/4813-la-ciudad-de-las-plataformas-ebook-9788419778697.html
Guma, P. K. (2023). Platform Work, Everyday Life, and Survival in Times of Crisis: Views and Experiences from Nairobi. In Data Power in Action (pp. 167–183). Bristol University Press. https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/85663/9781529233551.pdf
Burns, R., Fast, V., Levenda, A., & Miller, B. (2021). Smart cities: Between worlding and provincialising. Urban Studies, 58(3), 461–470. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098020975982
Lovink, G. (2022). Stuck on the platform. https://valiz.nl/en/publications/stuck-on-the-platform
Terranova, T. (2022). After the Internet: Digital Networks Between Capital and the Common (Vol. 33). MIT Press. https://unora.unior.it/handle/11574/210757
Pansera, M., Marsh, A., Owen, R., Flores López, J. A., & De Alba Ulloa, J. L. (2023). Exploring Citizen Participation in Smart City Development in Mexico City: An institutional logics approach. Organization Studies, 44(10), 1679–1701. https://doi.org/10.1177/01708406221094194
Rose, G., Raghuram, P., Watson, S., & Wigley, E. (2021). Platform urbanism, smartphone applications and valuing data in a smart city. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 46(1), 59–72. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12400
Barandiaran, X. E., Calleja-López, A., Monterde, A., & Romero, C. (2024). Decidim: A Brief Overview. In X. E. Barandiaran, A. Calleja-López, A. Monterde, & C. Romero, Decidim, a Technopolitical Network for Participatory Democracy (pp. 1–33). Springer Nature Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-50784-7_1
Palacin, V., McDonald, S., Aragón, P., & Nelimarkka, M. (2024). Configurations of Digital Participatory Budgeting. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 31(2), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1145/3635144
Graham, M. (2020). Regulate, replicate, and resist – the conjunctural geographies of platform urbanism. Urban Geography, 41(3), 453–457. https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2020.1717028
Sequera, J. (n.d.). UNA HISTORIA BREVE SOBRE LA PLATAFORMIZACIÓN DE LA VIDA URBANA. Ed. Jorge Sequera, 11.
Caprotti, F., Chang, I.-C. C., & Joss, S. (2022). Beyond the smart city: a typology of platform urbanism. Urban Transformations, 4(1), 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42854-022-00033-9

Thanks For Browsing!

kiddingthecity is…

 

…a webspace created by Paolo Cardullo in 2007 during his PhD at Goldsmiths University of London. It has gone through a few updates building up on my projects and publications