ENGAGING COMMUNITIES WITH 
DATA SOVEREIGNTY

PROJECT: community engagement & report

digital equity lab - the new school

ADVISOR: maya wiley

TEAM: michelle ponce & isabel saffon

PARTNER: nyc mayor's office of tech & innovation

YEAR: 2017

LOCATION: brownsville, brooklyn, ny

THEMES: digital equity, data sovereignty, smart

cities, community engagement

>> take a look at the report on issu

This project was situated within the City’s Neighborhood Innovation Labs initiative, an attempt to readjust the focus of smart city technology from efficiency to social equity. The lab involves historically marginalized communities in Brownsville, Brooklyn in the development of local smart city technologies.

 

This engagement project, situated within the lab, aimed to guide an honest and open conversation between the City and Brownsville residents as to what role technology can play in addressing community issues. The engagement tool consisted of two visual models that contrasted the current smart city approach with a “what if” scenario in which the community guides the development of smart technologies. The engagement tool provided a prompt to start a conversation around data sovereignty. Participants added responses, ideas, and additional questions, which were published as recommendations to the City in pursuing community-driven smart city developments.

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The development of this project followed a human-centered design research process, including stakeholder interviews, desk research, spatial analysis, systems analysis, prototyping, user testing, and ideation. 

The process was guided by a value-driven approach adopting an equity perspective. The digital equity framework requires to acknowledge and actively combat existing inequities in order to achieve equity. 

THE DESIGN RESEARCH PROCESS

>> read the full report on issu

PROJECT

ADVISOR

TEAM

PARTNER​

YEAR

LOCATION

THEMES

community engagement & report

digital equity lab

the new school

maya wiley

michelle ponce & isabel saffon

nyc mayor's office of tech & innovation

2017

brownsville, brooklyn, ny

digital equity, data sovereignty, smart

cities, community engagement