AOS at 18th International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society GeoMultimedia 2013

AOS will be at REAL CORP 2013, the 18th International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society GeoMultimedia 2013.

20-23 May 2013, Rome, Italy

House of Architecture
Piazza Manfredo Fanti, 47, 00185 Roma

Our contribution:

Interweaving the digital and analog lives of cities: urban sensing and user-generated cities

Abstract

A research process lasting from 2009 to 2012 has conceptualized, designed and implemented multiple tools and strategies to experiment novel forms of technologically-supported urban interaction. The goal of this process has been to understand the rituals which have started to shape contemporary citizens’ perception and performance of urban public and private spaces. An ethnographic approach has been used to gather insights about these emergent rituals, affecting the ways in which people have transformed the ways in which they work, learn, relate, consume, travel and entertain themselves in the city.

With the active collaboration of public administrations, organizations, citizen groups, tourist operators and research teams these practices have been enacted in the cities of Rome, Turin, Trieste, Cosenza, London, Berlin and Hong Kong for variable amounts of time. Engagement and results have been formally gathered, observed, processed and measured, allowing the research team to both explore the current scenario and envision new ones.

Real-time content harvesting from social networks, natural language analysis, geo-referencing/geo-coding/geo-parsing technologies, expert systems and ubiquitous technologies such as smartphones, custom electronic devices and conceptual consumer products have been employed to explore the ways in which people are and will be able to: perceive and understand their urban surroundings; access services and information; co-produce knowledge and distributed intelligence; collaborate in the creation of shared projects and city-governance practices; create and maintain peer-to-peer infrastructures for connectivity, commerce, services and culture.

This paper will present the initial analysis – including previous research taken into account in the fields of urban sensing, citizen science, urban planning, urban infrastructure management, urban environment perception and more –; the methodologies, both shared and project-specific, used to conceive, design, implement the prototypes and to measure their effects; the reports about each project in the aforementioned cities, including their usage on-the-field as well as elements of urban and digital ethnographic observation and user experience analysis; a description of a scenario for further research and for the production of service and product concepts, some of which are already in-progress, in the areas of the arts, culture, tourism and city administration.

What emerges is the opportunity to create multi-layered interactive landscapes in urban contexts which allow city dwellers to communicate, collaborate, govern their city, exchange knowledge and information, consume, entertain themselves, produce and distribute services.

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