Making waves: Urban technology and the co–production of place

Laura Forlano


Over the past several years, as cities in the United States have faced increasing fiscal pressures, there has been a reinvigorated interest in the promise of smart cities, intelligent cities, digital cities, open source cities and media cities, which advocate the use of digital technologies to make cities more efficient, productive, innovative and attractive. However, the appropriation and use of urban technologies have transformed the aesthetic, symbolic and lived experience of cities in important ways, which have not been well described or theorized. Based on theories from communications, science and technology studies as well as more specialized fields such as urban informatics, this article attempts to understand the ways in which urban technologies are appropriated and used to co–produce place relying on empirical examples from art and design, social science, and information and computer science. Finally, it illustrates the ways in which place is constituted at the intersection of socio–technical practices as dynamic, relational and interdependent.

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