CRC 1265 researcher Eric Lettkemann unravels the intriguing dynamics between digital technology and public spaces. Uncovering contrasting approaches to the of hybrid reality game Pokémon Go, from cemetery bans in Germany to seamless integration in Tokyo, he discusses the social implications and future challenges of such locative media as we navigate an evolving world where the digital of physical increasingly overlap.
The far-right and anti-Muslim organization SIAN has repeatedly staged demonstrations as well as public Qu’ran-burnings in Norwegian cities in recent years. In August 2020, the organization held a demonstration at the Furuset center, which includes a subway station, a shopping center, a branch of the city library and the district administration. Furuset is part of and the central place in Alna municipal district in Oslo. In this area the population is shaped by migration, religious diversity, and socio-economic challenges. This blog post discusses how local people reacted to the demonstration and how, in the process, local identities and spaces were intersectionally negotiated, defended, and created.
Am Kottbusser Tor soll eine sogenannte mobile Wache errichtet werden. Sieht man mal von den immer häufiger an öffentlichen Plätzen campierenden Mannschaftswagen der Polizei ab, die ebenso als mobile Wachen bezeichnet werden, wäre die mobile Wache am Kottbusser Tor bereits die zweite ihrer Art, denn sie soll sich die mobile Wache am Alexanderplatz zum Vorbild nehmen. Dort steht seit einiger Zeit ein rundherum kameraüberwachtes kleines Häuschen, das etwas größer ist als ein Baucontainer, jedoch nicht unbedingt ansehnlicher.
Automating vehicles is a solution for … what? Five theses concerning automation, public spaces and public involvement in an emerging technologyVolkan Sayman
In this article, I will present five theses concerning the ongoing race for bringing automated vehicles on public roads. Some of my theses are quite disillusioning, some provide hope for a better future of urban mobility with fewer private cars, some concern seemingly “technical” details. What underlies my thinking is the fact that in a field like automated driving, where technical and regulative norms are still evolving and being recalibrated, new technical norms introduce new social norms on our roads, and they enable wholly new patterns of mobility behavior. I study technological innovations as phenomena which are developed within society, within existing power relations, and within constantly changing societal norms and beliefs of what is a “good”, “achievable” or a “bad” future. In most cases, new technologies are presented as means for achieving a better future within a society.
Cameras on public roads, inside buses, trains, parks and squares; private video surveillance systems that also record street images; geolocation mechanisms; drones flying over large avenues; the use of artificial intelligence and facial recognition in different spaces of circulation of people. Urban public spaces are increasingly interwoven with information and communication digital devices and infrastructures. These transcend physical limitations and install mechanisms for gathering individual and collective personal data; they promote changes in social dynamics, aggravate territorial conflicts and expand the surveillance potential of cities.
Idealised values of common identification and consensus often attributed to urban neighbourhoods are romanticised, transfiguring and problematic. The socio-spatial construct of the neighbourhood is constituted not only by what we have in common and what we share, but also by dissent and conflict. We argue that conflict is not to be seen as deficient but can rather be constitutive and, in some cases, even productive for the socio-spatial (re)production of urban neighbourhoods. A research design that combines theory on social negotiations, rules and conventions in the public sphere with critical mapping techniques based on workshops conducted in the field helps to analyse the ambivalent role of conflicts in Berlin-Neukölln.
Navigating public space is globally complex and complicated . In nations of the Global South, where democracies are gradually becoming problematic , it is becoming obvious that these democracies are blurry with porous boundaries. Various mechanisms such as “no trespassing” signs, high fences and strategic CCTV cameras all testify to increasing contestations over what public space means and who has a right to access it. In Africa, the situation is progressively getting worse, as the recent oppression and killings of unarmed protesters in public spaces attest to. For example, the arrest and killings of unarmed protesters in the cities of Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria and Kampala, Uganda , should bring to the fore debates and questions on the reconfiguration and negotiation of public space. In this post, we seek to reflect on the ENDSARS protest in Nigeria and its implications for rights to public space in Nigeria.
The Coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on cities and populations all over the world. Although the virus itself is only a tiny, invisible thing, it has set a challenge for humanity: public spaces in cities have become empty, airports are closed, prayers have been cancelled and people are told to stay home for the first time in our lifetime. As cities are not meant to only satisfy basic human needs but provide crucial physical and social environments for human interaction, the changes the virus has brought to urban spaces have left stark impressions on their inhabitants and vice versa. Our daily habits influence our lives, and the way we act and interact reforms our built environment.