Digital Cities 5: Urban Informatics, Locative Media and Mobile Technology in Inner-City Developments
Marcus Foth, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, m.foth AT qut.edu.au
Fiorella De Cindio, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, fiorella.de.cindio AT rcm.dico.unimi.it
The Digital Cities 5 final workshop schedule
Digital Cities 5 will take place from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the John Willy Room at the Kellogg Center on June 28th
Digital Cities 5 will take place from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the John Willy Room at the Kellogg Center on June 28th
The workshop presenters
|Paulos||Intel Research Berkeley, US||Keynote Presentation: Participatory Urbanism|
|Ananny, & Strohecker||Stanford University, US||Forms and Forums for Developing Public Opinions|
|Bedö||University of Pécs, Hungary||Visual Pattern of Locative Urban Knowledge|
|Calabrese, Kloeckl, & Ratti||MIT, US||WikiCity: Real-Time Location-Sensitive Tools for the City|
|Crow, Longford, & Sawchuk||Mobile Media Lab, Canada||Voices From Beyond: “Urban Archaeology: Sampling the Park”, “The Haunting” and Mobile, Locative Experience Design|
|Geith and Beyea||Michigan State University, US||Placemaking Through Participatory Planning: A Digital Cities Use Case|
|Morgan, & Polson||Australasian Centre for Interaction Design (ACID), Australia||The Figmentum Project: Appropriating ICTs to Animate our Urban Fabric|
|Narasimhan, Wickramasuriya, Engelsma, & Vasudevan||Motorola, US||Preserving Faceted Identity in Mobile Devices: Privacy preservation for social media|
|Sevtsuk, Huang, Calabrese, & Ratti||MIT, US||Mapping the MIT campus in real time using WiFi|
|Tamada, & Nakanishi||Osaka University, Japan||Constructing of a large-scale virtual city based on an open content method|
|Trachtenberg||U of Pennsylvania, US||Smart Signs in the City: Designing Social Space for the Digital Lifestyle|
|Wulf, Veith, & Schubert||University of Siegen, Germany||come_IN: Fostering communities in multicultural neighbourhoods|
1 Workshop Theme
Many new urban developments are systematically planned and rapidly built and marketed, trying to create instant ‘communities’ in dense concentrations. In Hong Kong for example, new high-rise residential developments create concentrations of up to 10,000 people per apartment precinct (Forrest et al., 2002). Developers and governments around the world struggling to achieve socially sustainable neighbourhood communities in these urban contexts are increasingly considering the role of new media and information and communication technology (ICT). Conventional community technology (such as portals and intranets) do not work by themselves, mainly because they assume a ‘collective’ approach to building community and neglect the social structures that emerge from fluid social networks (Arnold et al., 2003; Foth, 2006a, 2006b; Foth & Hearn, 2007, forthcoming; Hopkins, 2005). Instead of a collective approach, the ecology of social networks and their digital augmentation in the context of inner-city urban developments is the focus of this workshop.
Mobile phones and internet-based communication technologies such as email, instant messengers and online chat are widespread in cities. A number of studies provide evidence that they have become integrated into the everyday life of many people (e.g., Boase et al., 2006; Fallows, 2004). The ability to communicate selectively, mediated, relayed and over distance impacts on the way social relationships are constructed and maintained. Recent studies show that social relationships that originate from online interaction are taken into and continued in the offline world and vice versa (Hampton, 2004; Mesch & Levanon, 2003). Castells (2001) thus speaks of ‘portfolios of sociability’ to describe the interwoven networks of kinship, friends and peers people create which offer a set of new qualities to the concept of ‘community’. Wellman (2001) too has recognised the hybridity of groups and networks in the notion of community and the new dimensions added by new media which he describes with the term ‘networked individualism’.
In this context, personalised mobile devices penetrate new urban spaces with a need for innovative products and services that enable the creative and consumption process to account for shifting social, cultural and psychological conditions. City residents now have the ability to communicate within groups, access media and entertainment content and manage their ‘digital lifestyle’ through SMS, mobile email, pictures and video. These innovative applications of locative media incorporate cultural and social patterns of interaction and user-led innovations that are yet to be fully explored. In addition to these informational and locative functions of new technologies, ICTs increasingly serve a discursive function as well. This is being manifested in a variety of rapidly emerging content genres (e.g., digital storytelling, blogs, e-zines, etc.) which are deployed between individuals as well as in networks of individuals (Matei & Ball-Rokeach, 2003). Digital cities have been promoted as a civic platform for citizens’ visions of the space they live and work in, complementary (and sometimes even alternative) to the much more institutional view of conventional e-government approaches. Locative media and mobile technology can enhance and augment digital cities and connect them in new ways to the physical city (Rheingold, 2002), enhancing civic participation and deliberation (De Cindio et al., 2006; Kavanaugh et al., 2005).
Relevant Research Questions:
- How can a balance be achieved between the opportunities of locative media and mobile technology on the one side and issues of access, trust and privacy on the other?
- What is the role of locally relevant content (personal and community images and narratives) in the establishment of sustainable social networks as well as in the context of civic participation?
- What can we learn from the communication models of global social networking sites such as MySpace and plazes.com in order to animate local interaction and civic participation of residents and friends locally?
- What is the role of location, (geo)graphical representations such as maps of various kinds, in supporting people to understand and navigate the augmented urban landscape?
- What is the impact of these new technologies on the challenges in moving from e-government to e-governance, e-participation to e-democracy at the urban level? Will these technological developments help increase or decrease the opportunities for citizens to play a role in shaping sustainable cities?
- What are the implications for the architecture and urban design of cities and public spaces?
2 Activities and Goals
- Bring together leading researchers at the intersection of people, place and technology.
- Publish selected workshop papers in Foth, M. (Ed.). (2008). Urban Informatics: Community Integration and Implementation. Hershey, PA: Idea Group. Revised chapters for this book are due early October 2007. Details will be made available to workshop presenters.
- Continue the successful “Digital Cities” series of workshops which have resulted in these publications:
Aurigi, A., & De Cindio, F. (Eds.). (2007, forthcoming). Augmented Urban Spaces: Articulating the Physical and Electronic City. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
van den Besselaar, P., & Koizumi, S. (Eds.). (2005). Digital Cities 3: Information Technologies for Social Capital: Cross-cultural Perspectives. Third International Digital Cities Workshop, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 18-19, 2003. Revised Selected Papers (Lecture Notes in Computer Science No. 3081). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.
Tanabe, M., van den Besselaar, P., & Ishida, T. (Eds.). (2002). Digital Cities 2: Computational and Sociological Approaches (Lecture Notes in Computer Science No. 2362). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.
Ishida, T., & Isbister, K. (Eds.). (2000). Digital Cities: Technologies, Experiences, and Future Perspectives (Lecture Notes in Computer Science No. 1765). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.
3 Background and Significance
The lack of viable systems designed to facilitate and support social networking in inner-city residential developments presents an immediate opportunity to create innovative solutions to bridge this gap (Foth, 2006b). The practical significance of this study examining place-based social networking systems is therefore threefold: First, existing groupware solutions (e.g. from Computer Supported Cooperative Work approaches) can at best only be re-appropriated for use in social and urban environments, because the original scope of application is regularly limited to business contexts. This substantiates a need to design purpose-built solutions that are customised for specific usage in a social, place-based milieu. Secondly, the ubiquity of new media and ICT is drawing attention to a hybrid notion of ‘community’ that is both networked and individualistic at the same time. This has direct repercussions for creating appropriate conceptual models of socio-cultural interaction to aid the design and development of innovative social networking and civic participation systems. Thirdly, in the case of interaction systems for geographically proximate urban dwellers, the focus is on local interaction which presents significant challenges and opportunities with regards to location-awareness, privacy, security, identity, presence, and social control. Research to date into these fast-paced and cross-disciplinary areas has not been exhaustive.
The workshop is also significant for its focus on the emerging social needs of citizens living in increasingly dense cities. For example, Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world in terms of the high proportion of urban dwellers among its total population. Approximately two-thirds of the total population reside in major cities (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004). Current projections for South East Queensland (SEQ) are 3.71m residents by 2026, an increase of around 1.05m people, or almost 50k each year on average (Queensland Government, 2005, p. 5). The continuation of the low density urban sprawl in SEQ is not sustainable. These trends (similar in other areas elsewhere in Australia and the world) have global economic relevance and reflect the changing role of cities internationally. Compact city policies are being developed and implemented in all Australian capitals to deal with population pressures and urban expansion. As a result, as Randolph (2004, p. 483) argues, “the language of community has come back with vengeance in policy areas that ignored it for many years. Cities are becoming, perhaps more than ever before, collections of distinctive communities and neighbourhoods, all the more differentiated as the cities grow in size and complexity. As the city expands, people remain focused on their small part of it”. The strategies proposed in these policies open up new research questions around issues of living together creatively and population diversity, which are the focus of this workshop.
The significance of this workshop is also evident in the stark contrast between the rapid development and uptake of 3G and ‘next-G’ mobile technology and the lack of socio-culturally meaningful local content solutions and applications available for them. New generation mobile phones can store 5,000 songs, 90 minutes of video, receive radio and television broadcasts, and have mobile email and internet. The growing social, cultural and economic impact of locative media solutions will take on greater significance in the social and cultural life of city dwellers as the major carriers commit to 3G technology and look for appropriate social and local services and content over the next three years.
4 Organisation and Submission Details
This is a full day workshop (8 hours) including one keynote address and approx. 10 to 12 paper presenters (20 min each including Q&A and hand-over) followed by a plenary discussion at the end. The workshop can accommodate a maximum number of approx. 25 to 30 participants including presenters in order to provide an environment that stimulates debate and interaction.
We are interested in three types of contributions:
- Concepts: Papers which examine the prevalent zeitgeist, discuss theoretical and conceptual innovation within a cross-disciplinary framework.
- Methods: Papers which report on novel approaches in the area of urban informatics, e.g. network action research, visual ethnography, probes, etc.
- Cases: Reports of case studies which provide empirical data to ground their findings in practice.
Interested contributors should submit an extended abstract to Marcus Foth at m.foth AT qut.edu.au or Fiorella De Cindio at fiorella.de.cindio AT rcm.dico.unimi.it, 1500-2000 words long, stating the author's name, affiliation, and contact information. This should be emailed to the workshop organisers before April 30th, 2007 and should summarise the author(s) research / practice background and interests as well as the work and results that will be described in a full paper. Accepted authors will be notified by May 18th, 2007. The acceptance of an extended abstract implies that at least one of the authors will register for both the workshop and the Communities & Technologies 2007 conference. Selected contributors will be asked to submit a full paper before October 1st, 2007. Full papers will undergo double blind peer review and appear in an edited book to be published by Idea Group in 2008.
Please email any questions and inquiries to both workshop organisers.
Marcus Foth is an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. His research pioneers new development approaches toward interactive social networking systems informed by community, social, and urban studies, and employs human-centered and participatory design methods. Foth received a PhD in digital media and urban sociology from QUT. He is a member of the Australian Computer Society and the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association. His online resume and portfolio is available at www.vrolik.de.
Fiorella De Cindio is Associate Professor at the Computer and Information Science Department of the University of Milan where she teaches and carries out research on Distributed Systems Design, Online Communities and e-democracy. In 1994 she promoted the Civic Informatics Laboratory (LIC), of which she has been the director since then and, in this role, set up the Milan Community Network RCM, which is now a Participatory Foundation. She also promoted the Association for Informatics and Civic Networking of Lombardy (A.I.Re.C.) which groups the Community Networks in the Lombardy Region. Fiorella is now President of both. In December 2001 she received the ‘Ambrogino d’Oro’, the civic top award assigned by the Milan Municipality to citizens who have contributed to city development.
Arnold, M., Gibbs, M. R., & Wright, P. (2003). Intranets and Local Community: 'Yes, an intranet is all very well, but do we still get free beer and a barbeque?' In M. Huysman, E. Wenger & V. Wulf (Eds.), Proceedings of the First International Conference on Communities and Technologies (pp. 185-204). Amsterdam, NL: Kluwer.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2004). Year Book Australia: Population. Article: How many people live in Australia's remote areas? (No. 1301.0). Canberra, ACT: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Boase, J., Horrigan, J. B., Wellman, B., & Rainie, L. (2006). The Strength of Internet Ties. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Castells, M. (2001). Virtual Communities or Network Society? In The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society (pp. 116-136). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
De Cindio, F., De Marco, A., & Sonnante, L. (2006, Oct 16). Enriching Community Networks by Supporting Deliberation. Paper presented at the DEMOnet Workshop on eDeliberation Research, Leeds, UK.
Fallows, D. (2004). The Internet and Daily Life. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Forrest, R., La Grange, A., & Mgai-Ming, Y. (2002). Neighbourhood in a high-rise high density city: Some observations on contemporary Hong Kong (Working Paper). Bristol, UK: ESCR Centre for Neighbourhood Research, Bristol.
Foth, M. (2006a). Analyzing the Factors Influencing the Successful Design and Uptake of Interactive Systems to Support Social Networks in Urban Neighborhoods. International J of Technology and Human Interaction, 2(2), 65-79.
Foth, M. (2006b). Facilitating Social Networking in Inner-City Neighborhoods. IEEE Computer, 39(9), 44-50.
Foth, M., & Hearn, G. (2007, forthcoming). Networked Individualism of Urban Residents: Discovering the Communicative Ecology in Inner-City Apartment Complexes. Information, Communication & Society.
Hampton, K. N. (2004). Networked sociability online, off-line. In M. Castells (Ed.), The Network Society: A Cross-cultural perspective (pp. 217-232). Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
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Kavanaugh, A. L., Isenhour, P. L., Cooper, M., Carroll, J. M., Rosson, M. B., & Schmitz, J. (2005). Information Technology in Support of Public Deliberation. In P. v. d. Besselaar, G. De Michelis, J. Preece & C. Simone (Eds.), Proceedings Communities and Technologies 2005 (pp. 19-40). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.
Matei, S. A., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2003). The Internet in the Communication Infrastructure of Urban Residential Communities: Macro- or Mesolinkage? Journal of Communication, 53(4), 642-657.
Mesch, G. S., & Levanon, Y. (2003). Community Networking and Locally-Based Social Ties in Two Suburban Localities. City and Community, 2(4), 335-351.
Queensland Government. (2005). South East Queensland Regional Plan 2005 - 2026. Brisbane, QLD: Office of Urban Management, Department of Local Government, Planning, Sport and Recreation.
Randolph, B. (2004). The Changing Australian City: New Patterns, New Policies and New Research Needs. Urban Policy and Research, 22(4), 481-493.
Rheingold, H. (2002). Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus.