Urban infrastructures have always played an important role in the shaping of urban culture. The village pump, the market place or Haussmann's Boulevards didn't just have a utilitarian function, they also turned into places for communication and cultural exchange.
Advances in digital media - the combination of sensors, 'smart' algorithms and individually tailored transactions - promise to make urban infrastructure more efficient. Yet what does the advance of new media in urban infrastructure mean for urban culture at large? According to some, we are heading towards a 'splintering urbanism' where the roll out of urban infrastructure is no longer aimed at connecting all citizens equally but rather at selling individual services to consumers. Does that mean the end of urban public space as we know it? Others however argue that new urban infrastructures - such as the internet of things - also create new opportunities for exchange and public action.