Planning Ethics for Big Data in Smart Cities : A Report for the American Planning Association

Karen Ho Chun Fung
In 2015, American Planning Association (APA)'s Smart Cities and Sustainability Task Force (SCTF) presented the Board of APA with a set of recommendations for the planning professional association to address the growing interest in smart cities, defined as the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other emerging infrastructure-enhancing tools to issues in urban settings. One recommendation directed the APA's certification program to incorporate training on the
more » ... s of big data (a term referring to the capabilities and practices of working with, analyzing and deriving insights from very large datasets enabled by ubiquitous computerization and widespread networking). Drawing on APA Code of Ethics; emerging practices on using and analyzing large sets of data from public and private organizations; and the growing discourse on the professional ethical considerations of doing so, the objective of this report is to present guidance on how to incorporate big data into existing ethics training provided by APA and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). These recommendations seek to balance the enhanced capabilities enabled by big data, with the aspirations of the planning profession (as stated in the AICP Code of Ethics) in the course of performing planning tasks; and to highlight the present and potential contributions of planners, planning theory and planning practice to emerging interdisciplinary practice on the use of and broader impact of big data on society, institutions and communities. The history of planning ethics, especially as it pertains to forecasting, is reviewed, as is the use of technology in support of public participation in planning. Big data is defined in relation to sample data techniques, and existing concerns about the ethical challenges of using big data from outside planning are described. Referencing existing ethics training materials, a series of recommendations are presented with the aim of ensuring planners receive ethics training [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0300179 fatcat:dcgcfyzbo5chtfqtxawzaavcbe