From 1939 World’s Fair to Hudson Yards
Since the late 17th century, people are looking for ways of organizing the world’s information, to take the city to streamlined, rational, orderly and efficient. The card catalogs and book stamps of Mevil Dewey’s Library Bureau are mainly for library usage at first; The first commercial computer system, drum memory systems and self-indexing and filing systems of Remington Rand since the 1939 World’s Fair. Remington Rand brings people from managing entities (like paper and books) to Internet, from personal owning to city information, from tangible to intangible.
If we say the data usages between late 17th to late 20th is mainly for business and city management. The emergence of urban data science has more humanistic concerns. City relies on satellites to get data with scale and sensors to get zoom-in data, meanwhile a broad array of measurements need to be captured in order to better understand urban ecosystem and human behavior.
The Hudson Yards in New York is like a city in the city, which spanning seven blocks from 30th to 34th Street with 17 million square feet of commercial, residential and civic space. Public responsibility, environmental righteousness, pneumatic-tube trash removal system and smart system will be implemented to better serve the community. Data will be get through monitors and sensors to understand human behavior in this community.
However data should only be a reference during decision making, otherwise data would be the goal of city development. Just like no one can define or measure freedom, truth or love, the justice, democracy, gender equality in the community are hard to be measured as well, and they all deserve the equal importance as data. Data brings self-managing — which each person follow the rules and mange by themselves- while self-managing “programs” people’s behavior without ideas and innovation abilities.