Smart Placemaking: materialisations of the Smart City in small and human scale

Publikation: Forskning - peer reviewKonferenceabstrakt til konference

Abstrakt

As an ambiguous umbrella term, Smart City predominantly annotates the usage of technologies and data in creating solutions to grand challenges that contemporary societies face (i.e. climate change, congestion, pollution, aging populations). Visions and realisations of Smart City revolve around technology, ubiquitous computing and radical interconnectedness and promise to empower city managers through urban operations systems, high-precision control centres, energy grids and sentient sensor environments. However, such top-down and managerial approaches to Smart City are often critiqued for being overly focused on optimisation, security and economic growth, and not on creating living environments foremost for the people that inhabit them (Greenfield 2013, Townsend 2014, Sassen 2012, Foth 2014, Koolhaas 2015). In this paper we review two empirical cases and explore how ICT, media technologies and data materialise in ‘smart placemaking’. In the Utzon Center in Aalborg (DK), the first case illustrates how Minecraft, LEGO and VR is used to create urban utopias and facilitate new spatial experiences, ownership and interaction. The second case, in Copenhagen (DK), addresses TREE.0, an installation designed by the Interactive Spaces Lab at the Alexandra Institute, situated in Copenhagen Street Lab, and demonstrates how media technologies and data might improve urban space and city life. From this, we call for an alternative Smart City perspective that lies closer to professions of urban design and architecture. This, we argue, allows us to also emphasise smart technologies and data as tools for placemaking at the smaller and more human scale in the Smart City rhetoric and discussions.
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Detaljer

As an ambiguous umbrella term, Smart City predominantly annotates the usage of technologies and data in creating solutions to grand challenges that contemporary societies face (i.e. climate change, congestion, pollution, aging populations). Visions and realisations of Smart City revolve around technology, ubiquitous computing and radical interconnectedness and promise to empower city managers through urban operations systems, high-precision control centres, energy grids and sentient sensor environments. However, such top-down and managerial approaches to Smart City are often critiqued for being overly focused on optimisation, security and economic growth, and not on creating living environments foremost for the people that inhabit them (Greenfield 2013, Townsend 2014, Sassen 2012, Foth 2014, Koolhaas 2015). In this paper we review two empirical cases and explore how ICT, media technologies and data materialise in ‘smart placemaking’. In the Utzon Center in Aalborg (DK), the first case illustrates how Minecraft, LEGO and VR is used to create urban utopias and facilitate new spatial experiences, ownership and interaction. The second case, in Copenhagen (DK), addresses TREE.0, an installation designed by the Interactive Spaces Lab at the Alexandra Institute, situated in Copenhagen Street Lab, and demonstrates how media technologies and data might improve urban space and city life. From this, we call for an alternative Smart City perspective that lies closer to professions of urban design and architecture. This, we argue, allows us to also emphasise smart technologies and data as tools for placemaking at the smaller and more human scale in the Smart City rhetoric and discussions.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato5 apr. 2017
StatusUdgivet - 5 apr. 2017
PublikationsartForskning
Peer reviewJa
ID: 254995712