Digital Cities: Hybrid Placemaking in the City

Code and Space

  • Imageability — the emotion a city incites
  • Legibility — a sense of urban clarity (the city’s layout is logical)

Scaling the City

What could this mean?

No one writes code like this (good luck to you if you do), but this is what Unsplash considers “code”.

// Boston ❤️s Yelp

…innovative products combined network analytics and sentiment analysis to provide lightweight, scalable, solutions than the government operating alone…

Accelerating Civic Roots

  1. Installation is successful, but the product fails to find demand and decays from agency and citizen disinterest
  2. Some initial adoption by the populace, but the product’s rigidity renders its application useless and is unceremoniously abandoned by users
  3. Ubiquitous adoption by users, but the use-case defined by the users doesn’t match the city’s intended initiative

…you can define your product’s use-case, but in the end your users will define how your application will be used…

The Citizen to City Government Connection

“…yesterday’s smart city, today’s nightmare.” — Richard Sennet

A Change of Perspective

The absence of participatory planning in the utopian cities of tomorrow ensure they will remain dormant — smart cities without a soul — constructed for a population that was never considered, and one that will never come.

A digital city is built from the bottom-up, by its people and for its people, granting it flexibility to provide aid to those most in need by accessing those most capable of helping.

Further Reading

Relevant Research




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Brian Rollison

Brian Rollison

digital citizen

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