BARI is excited to announce that The Urban Commons is officially available through Harvard University Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. The book leverages reports received by Boston’s 311 system to tell the story of how urbanites take care of public spaces and infrastructure. This “custodianship” is apparent as people address both the everyday issues of cracked sidewalks and street light outages, and the more dramatic damage wrought by a hurricane.
The book does more than recapitulate a specific research agenda. It communicates the lessons we have learned in developing the Boston Area Research Initiative, illustrating the broader potential of urban informatics to transform research and policy in cities. It focuses on the knowledge locked in administrative data and the power of collaboration between academics, policymakers, and practitioners, offering an alternative to the futuristic narratives surrounding “smart cities” that can have greater impact today.