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About Infrapublics

"Infrastructures and Interfaces of Publics: Journalism for Civic Communication in Urban Spaces" (INFRAPUBLICS) runs from 2021-2023 and is funded by AUFF (Aarhus University Research Fund). The project addresses a gap between journalism studies and smart city research, taking the datafication of urban spaces as an opportunity for journalism to go beyond the “informed citizen” model of its audience. The project shall map and evaluate approaches to how journalists, citizens, cities, data providers and civic tech NGO’s can work together on a local level to shape infrastructures for civic communication in the connected city. The main fields of research explored in this project are limitations of data journalism and civic communication, participatory approaches to "platform urbanism" (Barns) and living labs for sustainable cities and communities as well as HCI approaches to make data-driven insight actionable for civic initiatives. 


The research is geared towards inspiring and facilitating new modes of civic communication between civic tech, journalism and media research through international networking and exchange of experiences between principally Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. Journalists are the main target group for translating existing research insight into new types of data-driven, civic resources for policymakers and citizens alike. As such, the transition towards sustainable urban environments is taken as a focal lense to reinvigorate and reinvent the public mandate of journalism based on a reconceptualisation of its role and function in a connected society.

Project Team

The project is led by Christoph Raetzsch, Associate Professor for Journalism Studies, and Diogo Pereira Henriques, Postdoctoral Researcher, at the Department of Media and Journalism Studies of Aarhus University. The project is conducted in collaboration with the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX), Centre for Digital Transformation in Cities and Communities (DIGTCOM), Center for Digital Social Research DATALAB and Centre for Digital Methods and Media (CDMM). Among its international partners are colleagues at the Utrecht Data School (NL), the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society and Bard College in Berlin (DE), as well as University of Massachusetts at Amherst (US).

Get in Touch

If you are interested in the project or would like to contribute experiences, ideas or projects to be shared, get in touch with Christoph Raetzsch (craetzsch@cc.au.dk) or Diogo Henriques (dph@cc.au.dk) or follow #infrapublics (and us) on Twitter. For May and June 2022 we are planning a range of online workshops to network actors and develop an agenda for the future development of this field. A range of public interventions is planned for 2023 as well as a practice-oriented report for journalists and city stakeholders at the end of the project.

Follow Christoph Raetzsh on Pure, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Follow Diogo Henriques on Pure, Twitter, and LinkedIn.