DMRC Research Seminar: QUT Industry Fellow Dr Sarah Barns

Watch the seminar recording here.

Key Details

Date & time:

Thursday 21 July 2022

2:30pm – 3:00pm  afternoon tea

3:00pm – 4:00pm  presentation


Education Precinct Function Room (E-550), Level 5, E Block, Kelvin Grove or via Zoom


Register for in person attendance by 19 July
No RSVP required for online attendance

This research seminar is brought to you by the DMRC Urban Media and Digital Geographies Research Group.

A new deal for city data? The case of Barcelona and the progressive data politics agenda

The growth of smart city policy and investment frameworks globally has been met with criticism for overly prioritising the needs of technology companies with limited outcomes for citizens. In response, a number of cities are rethinking the role of digital strategy as a citizen-led opportunity to better engage with communities and build stronger data governance outcomes better aligned to goals around sustainability, resilience, and health & wellbeing. Leading the way in this ‘pivot’ has been the City of Barcelona, which from 2015-2019 led a series of groundbreaking initiatives to establish ‘a new deal on city data’ and empower the city and its people through new digital tools and data governance initiatives.

In this presentation I discuss a recent research paper on the Barcelona case with UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose Deputy Director Professor Rainer Kattel, former City of Barcelona Chief Digital Officer Francesca Bria and Harvard-Bloomberg Fellow Fernando Fernandez-Monge. In this paper, we explore how the city translated radical ideas about digital governance into practice through interviews with key practitioners, advisers and policy makers involved in the program, and reflect on the role of Barcelona leading a global cities agenda to improve data governance at the local level.

Dr. Sarah Barns
Dr. Sarah Barns works at the intersection of public engagement, strategy and research. She is a Director of Esem Projects, leads public space media platform STORYBOX, and a digital adviser to a range of community, arts and city-shaping agencies. Sarah is currently an Industry Fellow within the QUT Design Lab, and is researching comparative urban data publics as a Visiting Academic at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cities. Sarah’s book, Platform Urbanism, was published in 2020 by Palgrave. Her publications can be found on QUT ePrints.