Advertisement

Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 971–997 | Cite as

Public Lab: Community-Based Approaches to Urban and Environmental Health and Justice

  • Pablo Rey-Mazón
  • Hagit Keysar
  • Shannon Dosemagen
  • Catherine D’Ignazio
  • Don Blair
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper explores three cases of Do-It-Yourself, open-source technologies developed within the diverse array of topics and themes in the communities around the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab). These cases focus on aerial mapping, water quality monitoring and civic science practices. The techniques discussed have in common the use of accessible, community-built technologies for acquiring data. They are also concerned with embedding collaborative and open source principles into the objects, tools, social formations and data sharing practices that emerge from these inquiries. The focus is on developing processes of collaborative design and experimentation through material engagement with technology and issues of concern. Problem-solving, here, is a tactic, while the strategy is an ongoing engagement with the problem of participation in its technological, social and political dimensions especially considering the increasing centralization and specialization of scientific and technological expertise. The authors also discuss and reflect on the Public Lab’s approach to civic science in light of ideas and practices of citizen/civic veillance, or “sousveillance”, by emphasizing people before data, and by investigating the new ways of seeing and doing that this shift in perspective might provide.

Keywords

Aerial mapping Water quality Civic science Sousveillance Participatory design Open source Community engagement Open hardware Do-It-Yourself 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Dr. Heidi Ballard, Liz Barry, Shai Efrati, Jeff Warren and Cindy Regalado. The aerial mapping workshop in Castellón was possible thanks to the invitation of David Arlandis and Javier Marroquí and to the Espai d’art contemporani de Castelló and the collaboration of the organizations Avinença, Ecologistes en Acció del País Valencià, Molts Mons, Amics de Palanques, Casal Popular de Castelló; documentation by Lot and Lucia; and the co-organization of Rubén Lorenzo Montero from Basurama. The aerial mapping and workshops in Silwan, East Jerusalem, were supported by the Education Lab in “Mamuta, Art and Media Center” (mamuta.org).

References

  1. Azoulay, A. (2008). The civil contract of photography. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Azoulay, A. (2015). Civil imagination: Political ontology of photography. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Barry, L., Dosemagen, S., Lippincott, M., Blair, D., & Breen, J. (2013). Civic, citizen, and grassroots science: Towards a transformative scientific research model. In D. Offenhuber & L. A. Oberösterreich (Eds.), Accountability technologies: Tools for asking hard questions (1st ed., pp. 23–31). Vienna: Ambra.Google Scholar
  4. Cascio, J. (2005). The rise of the participatory panopticon. http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002651.html. Accessed December 1, 2015.
  5. Collins, H. (2014). Are we all scientific experts now?. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. DeChiro, G. (1997). Local actions, global visions: Remaking environmental expertise. Frontiers, 18(2), 203–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dosemagen, S., Warren, J., & Wylie, S. (2011). Grassroots mapping: Creating a participatory map-making process centered on discourse. Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, 8. Accessed October 24, 2016.Google Scholar
  8. Dumper, M. (2013). Policing divided cities: Stabilization and law enforcement in Palestinian East Jerusalem. International Affairs, 89(5), 1247–1264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elwood, S. (2006). Critical issues in participatory GIS: Deconstructions, reconstructions, and new research directions. Transactions in GIS, 10(5), 693–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Felner, E. (1995). A policy of discrimination: Land expropriation, planning and building in East Jerusalem. A comprehensive report, B’Tselem. http://www.btselem.org/download/199505_policy_of_discrimination_eng.doc. Accessed November 21, 2017.
  11. Fortun, K., & Fortun, M. (2005). Scientific imaginaries and ethical plateaus in contemporary U.S. toxicology. American Anthropologist, 107(1), 43–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Foucault, M. (1975). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  13. Haklay, M. (2013). Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation. Environment and Planning A, 45(1), 55–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Herscher, A. (2014). Surveillant witnessing: Satellite imagery and the visual politics of human rights. Public Culture, 26(3(74)), 469–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hoffman, K. (2011). From science-based legal advocacy to community organizing: Opportunities and obstacles to transforming patterns of expertise and access. In G. Ottinger & B. R. Cohen (Eds.), Technoscience and environmental justice: Expert cultures in a grassroots movement. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  16. Jefferis, D. C. (2012). Institutionalizing statelessness: The revocation of residency rights of palestinians in East Jerusalem. International Journal of Refugee Law, 24(2), 202–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jenkins, H., Shresthova, S., Gamber-Thompson, L., & Kligler- Vilenchik, N. (2016). Superpowers to the people!: How young activists are tapping the civic imagination. In E. Gordon & P. Mihailidis (Eds.), The civic media reader. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Keysar, H. (2014). 7 צילום אוויר (קהילה). מפתח – כתב עת לקסיקלי למחשבה פוליטית, גיליון. (Hebrew). http://mafteakh.tau.ac.il/2014/01/11-07/. Accessed November 28, 2017.
  19. Keysar, H. (2016). Prototyping the civic view from above: Do-it-yourself aerial photography in Israel-Palestine. Ph.D. Thesis, Ben Gurion University.Google Scholar
  20. Latour, B., & Weibel, P. (Eds.). (2005). Making things public: Atmospheres of democracy. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  21. Mann, S., Nolan, J., & Wellman, B. (2003). Sousveillance: Inventing and using wearable computing devices for data collection in surveillance environments. Surveillance & Society, 1(3), 331–355.Google Scholar
  22. Marx, G. T. (2002). What’s new about the “new surveillance”? Classifying for change and continuity. Surveillance & Society, 1(1), 9–29.Google Scholar
  23. Marx, G. T. (2007). Soft surveillance: The growth of mandatory volunteerism in collecting personal information—Hey Buddy Can You Spare a DNA?. In T. Monahan (Ed.), Surveillance and security: Technological politics and power in everyday life (p. 2006). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Nascimento, S., Pereira, A., Boucher, P., & Tallacchini, M. (2014). Emerging ICT for citizens’ veillance: Theoretical and practical insights. European Commission: JRC Science and Policy Reports.Google Scholar
  25. Pullan, W., Misselwitz, P., Nasrallah, R., & Yacobi, H. (2007). Jerusalem’s road 1. City, 11(2), 176–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sieber, R. (2006). Public participation geographic information systems: A literature review and framework. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 96(3), 491–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Warren, J. Y. (2010). Grassroots mapping: Tools for participatory and activist cartography. MA Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  28. Weizman, E. (2007). Hollow land: Israel’s architecture of occupation. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  29. Yiftachel, O., & Yacobi, H. (2002). Planning a bi-national capital: Should Jerusalem remain united? Geoforum, 33(1), 137–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Rey-Mazón
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hagit Keysar
    • 4
  • Shannon Dosemagen
    • 2
  • Catherine D’Ignazio
    • 5
  • Don Blair
    • 2
  1. 1.Basurama and Montera34BilbaoSpain
  2. 2.Public Laboratory for Open Technology and ScienceNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.WikitokiBilbaoSpain
  4. 4.Planning for the Environment with Communities (PECLAB), Geography DepartmentTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  5. 5.Civic Media and Data VisualizationEmerson CollegeBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations