In this article we engage with the contemporary data moment by
exploring how particular data practices–– consisting of census data
and statistics––have become embroiled in the making of urban space
and governance in Denmark. By focusing on the controversial case
of Danish “ghettos”––a state-sanctioned list of marginalised urban
areas––we show how Danish data practices of routinely collecting and
aggregating extensive census data have become central to ascribing
particular urban neighbourhoods as ghetto areas. These data practices
spatialise residential housing areas as problematic and influence Danish
urban governance. We explore how new forms of data practices for
monitoring urban areas arise, and argue that these practices help to
maintain the spatialisation of the “ghetto list”. They do so by drawing
multiple forms of data together, that visualise and monitor “at risk”
areas making them governable and amenable to physical changes.
Finally, we show how the state uses data practices to make citizens
(and municipalities) accountable; yet, this accountability cuts both
ways, as citizens and municipalities also use data to hold the state
accountable. We end with a discussion of how our analysis of data
practices has implications for how we imagine the scalar hierarchy of
the state and the politics of data
TidsskriftSTS Encounters - DASTS working paper series
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)141-168
StatusUdgivet - 2020


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