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Stephen graham remediating cities: ubiquitous computing and the urban public realm
 

Stephen graham remediating cities: ubiquitous computing and the urban public realm

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An overview of how the latest digital technologies are 'remediating' urban life by layering their services within and through the streets, spaces and circulations of cities

An overview of how the latest digital technologies are 'remediating' urban life by layering their services within and through the streets, spaces and circulations of cities

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    Stephen graham remediating cities: ubiquitous computing and the urban public realm Stephen graham remediating cities: ubiquitous computing and the urban public realm Presentation Transcript

    • Remediating Cities: The Changing City and Public Digital Domain Prof. Stephen Graham Department of Geography University of Durham, U.K. [email_address]
    • From Dreams of Transcendence to the ‘Remediation’ of Urban Life
      • 1960s-1990s Pervasive, antiurban obsession with substitution/ dematerialisation/ death of distance
      • Absolute binaries city/cyberspace, online/offline, virtual/material, cyberspace/meatspace etc.
      • Widespread assumption that ICTs would inevitably eviscerate and simply replace cities/ corporeality/ materiality/ physical flow
      • Cities (concentrations of space to overcome time), body and transport abandoned because of real-time interactions to overcome space
      • Cast away “Ballast of materiality” (Benedikt)
      • Fantasies of complete transcendence: utopian/dystopian/’neoliberal/cyberlibertarian
    • ‘ Cyberspace’ as Separate Domain ‘Out There’
    • A ‘Manifest Destiny’ or ‘Anything-Anytime Anywhere Dream’: Examples
          • ” The city as a form of major dimensions must inevitably dissolve like the fading shot in a movie" McLuhan 1964
          • ” If cities did not exist, it now would not be necessary to invent them" Naisbitt and Aburdene 1991
          • ” The city of the past slowly becomes a paradoxical agglomeration in which relations of immediate proximity give way to interrelationships over distance” Virilio 1993
          • ” In urban terms, once time has become instantaneous, space becomes unnecessary” Pawley 1997
          • “ When work is a few keystrokes away from the comfort
          • of your home-office, why even build in reality”? Kaba 1996
    • Co-Evolution and Impasse
      • More sophisticated perspectives on co-evolution of cities and ICTs emerged
      • Space of flows/space of places
      • Realisation that metropolitan cores actually powerhouses of digital innovation and clustering
      • Widespread policy innovations attempting to forge creative cities, digital cities, e-governance etc. through both urban and ICT urban initiatives
      • But conceptual and policy IMPASSE! Limits reached?
      • Need new conceptual and policy paradigms
    • Starting Points
      • Massive parallel growth in ICT use, urbanisation and physical transport flows and mobilities
      • Crucial material geographies of ICTs
      • New media applications increasingly articulate closely with, and animate, fine grain of urban places and everyday life and mobility
      • Complex spatial divisions of labour: ‘Archipeligo economy.’ Risks of splintering urbanism
      • Complex combinations of face-to-face and electronic interactions within and between cities
      • ‘ Compulsion of proximity’ for burgeoning ‘creative’ industries and people, as well as massive ICT flows
      • ICTs have quickly become normal, taken for granted and banal. Now the ordinary urban landscape
      • A technology is most important when it becomes so ubiquitous that it becomes culturally invisible
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    • Possible New Paradigm? Remediating Cities
      • Bolter and Grusin:
      • “ Cyberspace is very much a part of our contemporary world. It is constituted through a series of remediations. As a digital network, cyberspace remediates the electric communications networks of the past 150 years, the telegraph and the telephone; as virtual reality, it remediates the visual space of painting, film, and television ; and as social space, it remediates such historical places as cities and parks and such 'nonplaces' as theme parks and shopping malls. Like other contemporary telemediated spaces, cyberspace refashions and extends earlier media, which are themselves embedded in material and social environments".
    • 6 Examples 1. Remediating Mobilities
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    • Recommodification: Premium E-Tolled Spaces and Mobilities
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    • Remediating Borders Face as a Bar Code:
    • RFIDs: The Triumph of Logistics and Ubiquitous Electronic Tracking
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    • Ubiquitous Computing and Sentient Urban Landscapes
    • 2. Remediating Consumption Rifkin’s ‘Age of Access’
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    • Consumption and Experience of Neighbourhoods
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    • New Urban Social Movements: Exposing the Politics of Digital Information in Neoliberal Cities
    • The Telepresent Landscape Remote Consumption of Place
    • 3. Remediating Social Exclusion Software-Sorted Societies: “ The modern city exists in a haze of software instructions” Amin and Thrift
    • 4. Remediating Landscape (Jane McGonigal)
    • 5. Remediating Bodies
      • Remediating Urban Public Realms ‘A New Biology of Culpability’: Shift to algorithmic and biometric surveillance systems
    • Post 9-11 ‘Surveillance Surge’
    • Remediating Streets
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    • Deep Place: Parallel Challenges to Reassert Urban Public Realms Through Remediation
      • Exploit:
      • * Geospatial
      • Software
      • Wireless
      • GPS * Location Services
    • Social Networks and Social Software
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    • Brings a New Politics of (In)visibility
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    • Cities as Digital Playgrounds
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    • Animating the Past: Digital Collective Memory
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    • Remediating Urban and Public Art
    • Conclusions: Urban Remediation for ‘Creative Cities’?
      • Powerful, dynamic perspective handles multiple scales from body to globe and moves beyond conceptual and policy impasse caused by unhelpful binaries
      • Above all, place still critical, probably increasingly so!
      • Urban remediations rely on subtle, complex and continuous combinations of ‘virtual’ and urban/corporeal/physical/place-based
      • Underline how ICTs have very quickly become ordinary - The most basic and prosaic background to contemporary urban life
      • The urban is ICTs; ICTs are the urban. Not separate realms
      • Urban life continuously brought into being by massive, globally-stretched complexes of increasingly automated logistics, consumption, surveillance and social systems
      • But, with a few exceptions, research and policy paradigms lagging far behind. Often trapped in anachronistic paradigms.
    • Main Policy Challenges
      • View remediating cities as multiscale sociotechnical process
      • Beyond physicalist, boosterist, gentrifying paradigms
      • Develop ‘relational' conceptions of cities: space, place and time continually brought into being and animated through remediation, operating at scales from body to globe
      • Creatively shape ICTs and urban spaces in parallel as joined and inseparable ‘hybrids’ but without fetishising technology
      • Bold and flexible experiments in urban remediation needed as basis for creative, sustainable and just future cities
      • Must strive to revitalise urban public realms through remediation, addressing dangers of electronic/physical capsularisation and sprawl, and post 9-11 surveillance surge
      • Also address growing invisibility of social and technical power: the growth of ‘software-sorted’ digital divides
    • Polarising Effects of High-tech Megaprojects