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PREDICTIVE CITY ABC aims to decode a territory that has produced a specialist vocabulary, in order to promote accessibility to the debate.

With the proliferation of networked sensors and distributed processing often called the ‘Internet of Things’ comes the possibility of a fully embedded information infrastructure; a ‘smart operating system’ powered by algorithmic decision making for the home and cities alike. Data sensed and extracted from smart phones, security cameras, city rapid transit networks and personal health trackers can be analysed, packaged and traded as ‘Big Data’ that corporations need to predict future patterns.

For some, this is a techno-utopia come true, where management is algorithmic, efficient and error-free, and happiness abounds; for others, it signals mass surveillance and control.

This glossary-in-progress aims to illuminate terminology and decipher buzzwords. In order to participate in the shaping of our public spaces, we must engage with this evolving language.