Data Week

The City as Data

Topic: The survey and the map. A proposed definition of the modern city: a city whose people are known to authorities through social statistics. Beginning in the 18th century, governments began to manage whole populations through statistical study of all aspects of everyday life. This new mode of what Michel Foucault calls “biopolitics” began in cities, with studies of factory workers’ health, and mapping of mortality, crime, and suicide. To almost every branch of government today, the city is first a population and a space with measurable traits. The origins of social statistics. Edwin Chadwick and the first cholera map.

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