everyday day growing cultures: connecting communities through data

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Presentation SURF Research and Innovation Event 2013 February 28, The Hague University of Applied Sciences Farida Vis is Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester.

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  • 1. Everyday day growing cultures: connectingcommunities through dataFarida Vis Research Fellow, Information School University of Sheffield@flygirltwo

2. Everyday GrowingCultures in the North ofEngland: participation,citizenship and localeconomies.Farida Vis (PI Sheffield)Peter Jackson (CoI Sheffield)Andrew Miles (CoI Manchester)ErinmaOchu (CoI Manchester)+Steven Flower (ODM)Yana Manyukhina (RA Leeds)Ric Roberts (ODM)Ian Humphrey (RA Sheffield) Caroline Ward (SN/BBC) 3. Bringing together two communities inManchester and Sheffield who to focus on?Growing communitiesOpen data communities plot holders; allotment open data activists;societies; those waiting for developers; localplots; allotment governing government; databodies journalists Local organisations Central government (DCLG) Local organisations Others (AAA/Diggers)NB > digital transformation through vacant lot mapping? 4. UKs open data portal for government data 5. Whats it all about? Help people understand how government works How policies are made In one place searchable Easier for people to make decisions Making suggestion about government policies based ondetailed information Hear more about the Governments Transparency agenda 6. Easier for people to make decisions?! 7. Open data project from Kirklees Council and Thumbprint Co-operative, funded by NESTAs Make It Local programme 8. But what happens when the funding runs out? 9. Allotment (publics): an open data and data driven journalism perspective Farida Vis and Yana ManyukhinaUniversity of Sheffield and Leicester | Open Data Manchesterf.vis@sheffield.ac.uk @flygirltwo 10. What is an allotment?Small piece of land rented from the council for the cultivation of fruit andvegetables for home consumption. Sign a tenancy agreement every year. Since the Allotments Act of 1908 a standard allotment is 10 rods. Rods are also called poles or perches. 10 rod = 250 sqm. 11. Allotment data as really useful dataPeople care about growing vegetables 12. Project overviewNot funded (huge advantage) multiple (experimental) methods usedFrom the beginning strong engagement outside academia 13. Allotments Act of 1908: Clause 23 ensures that councils provide allotments. It takessix citizens. Responsibility of local government. If sites sold money can only be spenton allotments. 14. Threat to the Allotments ActSpring 2011, the Department for Communities and Local Government issued apublic consultation on 1294 Statutory Duties pertaining to local authorities topossibly reduce their number.These duties included Section 23 of the 1908 Allotments Act, which ensures localauthorities provide allotments, causing some newspapers to suggest that TheGood Life was now under threat.Bewilderingly difficult survey to find and fill out. Engagement?The Act remained unchanged however in the summer the governmentannounced that of the 6,103 responses received nearly half contained acomment on the Allotments Act. 15. Huge waiting lists: big demand, tiny supplyIn 1940s: 1.4 million allotment plots in the UK. Now: 200,000. Cycles of popularity. What do you do when everyone wants one again?Waiting list crisis (our local site): 12 years ago, waiting list was 2 months.Now: 15 years. Lots of people with children want to grow food with them.Transition Town West Kirby (TTWK), Margaret CampbellGrow Your Own | Land Share initiative | guerrilla gardening | alleyway gardensRecent changes rent increases, water rates, tenancy agreements 16. Sources of information on allotments in UKNational Society for Allotments and LeisureGardeners (NSALG) official bodyAllotment Regeneration Initiative (ARI) officialbody, policy documents, mentors and adviceTransition Town West Kirby (TTWK) waiting listsPerennial problem: good allotment data. Difficult to get anoverview of what is going on at local/national level.Evidenced based policy making on allotments difficult 17. Collecting data = time consuming (mainly not available). Not precise Location data doesnt tell you very much 18. Mapping plots in Manchester AMAS (incomplete) + Trafford(open data of allotment locations released by the council) 19. Allotment data: focus on unreliable waiting list data (difficult to collect & track)New maps using TTWK FOI data: http://www.transitiontownwestkirby.org.uk/Enriching existing data 20. Allotment data: difficult to collect & track (focus on unreliable waiting list data)New maps using TTWK FOI data: http://www.transitiontownwestkirby.org.uk/ 21. New data (through FOI) From all UK councils.Tenancy agreementsChanges | consultationsCost of hiring a plot(past, current, future)Cost of water useDiscountsCost of waste removal 22. New data obtained through FOI: rent, water charges, discounts, tenancy agreementshttp://www.whatdotheyknow.com/user/farida_vis_and_yana_manyukhinaStories in the data | data driven journalism 23. Data displayed on interactive map How did your council compare? 24. Mainstream media interest: about growing vegetables, not open data 25. Strong interest from the horticultural and allotment communities 26. Responses to the projectOSM community in West Midlands http://blog.mappa-mercia.org/2012/01/west-midlands-allotments.html 27. Strong interest from the open data and policy communitiesProblem with truly engaging with participants/end users: methods participant / hobbyist open data activist / ex allotment committee / ... 28. The allotment data work struck a chord with the workshop as it is a prime example ofuseful data concerning a topic that genuinelyengages the public Full report: http://www.w3.org/2012/06/pmod/report 29. Quite a few responses via email. For example (on old measurements): The Rod was phased out as a legal unit of measurement as part of a ten-yearmetrication process that began in May 1965 but metrication has often beenignored and, in many instances, imperial measurements prevail: roads aremeasured in miles and yards; we measure our height in feet and inches andweight in stones and pounds; and it is difficult to change football goal posts from8 yards x 8 feet to their metric equivalent. Some measurements changed fromimperial to metric and back again: farms have reverted from Hectares to Acresand office rents from x per square metre to y per square foot. Sometimes weuse even older measurements: the length of a cricket pitch between stumps is 1chain (22 yards) horse races are run over furlongs (220 yards); and, onepeculiarity, railway bridges have a metal plaque on the side of their brick or stonearches stating x miles and y chains from Victoria, Waterloo, etc. Now, I work inmetric units every day but, in some cases, old measurements are nottransferable: 10 square rods means something, 253Your research into Allotments is not complete: it concentrates on Councilscharges and waiting lists. It does not include anything about their history; thereis no reference to Rods, Poles and Perches. 30. Who has / will give you the data? Central GovernmentLocal GovernmentAllotment OfficersAllotment Associations Allotment secretaries Plotholders 31. Everyday GrowingCultures in the North ofEngland:participation, citizenshipand local economies.Farida Vis (PI Sheffield)Peter Jackson (CoI Sheffield)Andrew Miles (CoI Manchester)ErinmaOchu (CoI Manchester)+Steven Flower (ODM)Yana Manyukhina (RA Leeds)Ric Roberts (ODM)Ian Humphrey (RA Sheffield) Caroline Ward (SN/BBC) 32. Bringing together two communities inManchester and Sheffield who to focus on?Growing communitiesOpen data communities plot holders; allotment open data activists;societies; those waiting for developers; localplots; allotment governing government; databodies journalists Local organisations Central government (DCLG) Local organisations Others (AAA/Diggers)NB > digital transformation through vacant lot mapping? 33. Very limited dataTrafford allotments mapped: http://bobop.co.uk/posts/10-Trafford-Open-Data-Maps 34. Commonalities: ideas of knowledge sharing, collaboration,the commons: shared digital/land accessible resources. What does digital engagement and transformationlook like within these communities? (main question) How can these communities further the national opendata agenda so that it benefits citizens? How can a more widely adopted and enacted open datastrategy benefit local economies? If unsuccessful in these aspects, what might open datasunintended consequences look like? How can we think of forms of resistance, mobilisation oflocal histories and heritage identities? How can we rethink received ideas of participationand enacting citizenship in light of these? 35. Data collection/Methods/Outputs/Engagement Updating UK allotment dataset Threat to Act -> release useful data Mapping workshops + tours (mapping vacant lots) Grow Your Own Data Hackday(s) Short film (made by Squirrel Nation/BBC) Website including toolkit MadLab Hack/makers space 36. For critical consideration Whats with all the mapping? Neo-cartography+activism Defining community: In contrast a focus on the role ofsociality in the production of Cittaslowplaces indicates howsocial relationships or bonds are implicated in the forms ofindividual and collective human agency and creativity throughwhich the social and material elements of urban contexts areconstituted (Pink, 2008: 185 our emphasis) Community-based participatory research: a guide to ethicalprinciples and practice role of power (ethical principles:mutual respect; equality and inclusion; democratic participation;active learning; making a difference; collective action; personalintegrity) (see http://www.dur.ac.uk/beacon/socialjustice/ethics_consultation/) 37. Reflecting on pastallotment datamappingGIS OSM Open Government Data Camp: Eurohack Google More mapping: Fusion OSM communityrespond to Tables Allotment DataNB - Free volunteermappingLook no maps -> 38. Easier for people to make decisions?! 39. Project

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