ConnectiCity is an ongoing artistic and research project started at the end of 2008. It's objective is to understand the transformation of cities and urban spaces with the advent of ubiquitous technologies and networks.
Cities have radically changed in the information era, and city dwellers have changed the ways in which they work, learn, collaborate, perceive their environment, consume and feel emotions.
New urban rituals emerge in the process.
What do people do when they first arrive in a city? Do they use a web service / mobile application to find what they need or do they ask other human beings to help them?
How does collaboration take place in the hyperconnected city?
How do people communicate across urban spaces? How do they meet? How do they agree on things to do?
How do they express themselves? How do they exhibit their feelings, their sense of belonging, their take on issues such as politics, the environment, security, dissent, public policies?
What is the human geography and topography of the digitally interconnected city? Is it different than the one of the physical city?
These and more are some of the research questions which we have asked ourselves during the past few years.
We have collaborated with cities such as Rome, London, Berlin, Philadelphia, Hong-kong, Trieste, Florence, Pisa, Cosenza, Cava de' Tirreni and more to try to find the answers, or to learn about progressively more interesting questions to pose.
ConnectiCity projects use a variety of technologies and practices to be performed:
- a deep interdisciplinary collaboration between arts, sciences, design, architecture, anthropology
- techniques and technologies to harvest, in real-time, public information from major social networks
- technologies for geo-coding, geo-location, geo-referencing
- natural language analysis to extract sentment, emotional expressions, topics from text
- network analytics to understand both human geographies/topographies and information propagation/communication in cities
- meshed networks
- community activation through co-creation processes, peer-to-peer network creation, open innovation
ConnectyCity projects also aim at reclaiming the digital public spaces of cities.
Currently, the digital information and communication layers of urban spaces are owned by private service providers, using them for a variety of commercial and strategic purposes.
People massively use these spaces and perceive them as public spaces. But they are not.
Through ConnectiCity we aim at reclaiming the digital spaces of the city and to give them back to the community, bringing them back to the public space, to foster human development, awareness, and the emergence of innovativative collaborative practices.