Monday, Aug 7 2006 

Mobility Environments and Network Cities, Luca Bertolini and Martin Dijst

Journal of Urban Design, Vol 8, No. 1, pg 27-43, 2003

  • Cities are fast becoming transformed into extensive webs of interaction, supported by transport and real-time communication networks. Designers are then asked to deal with flows rather than zones, and accessibility rather than proximity.
  • The recognition of technology in creating a borderless nature to our contemporary cities does not mean we should abandon the design of physical places. Physical spaces still play an essential role in our cities, particular relating to where mobility flows interconnect. These environments depend on the specific features at each location, and also the characteristics of the visitors. How can mobility environments better articulate planning and design strategies to cope with the reality of an increasingly borderless urban system.
  • the nature of peoples lives have changed and are becoming independent of urban physical and administrative boundaries. ‘People typically live in one place, work in a second and recreate in yet a third.’
  • The ability to provide opportunities for human interaction is an essential reason for cities to exist. Human interaction required a location within walking distance, resulting into the physical concentration of places of residence, work and exchange. The central idea allowed time constraints to be overcome by minimising distance constraints. Modern transport and telecommunication technologies provide a radical alternative solution of overcoming time constraints and space with human interaction, thus asking the need to for centrality to exist as it once did?
  • A rising level of change in social and economic structures, and cultural and demographic changes have led to a wider range of choices for individuals and organisations. This new mobility has increased human activity patterns in relation to the city.
  • Each individual can then create his own ‘virtual city’ which has no set physical and administrative boundaries. How people choose to use these areas depends on tourist vs local, working hours, household income, time constraints etc. Because of this the relationship between the social dimensions the city and the physical dimensions of the city is fundamentally changing.
  • With telecommunications the relationship between the social and physical boundaries is occurring. The complex webs of human interaction can be developed without any apparent spatial support. Networks of interaction between people, firms and other organisation are constantly changing, questioning geographies and spatial developments, creating a network society.
  • The local is still an active network in our society. Several analysts have demonstrated that face-to-face, informal physical contact still plays a central role in the economic domain. Decentralisation co-exists with the growth of activities thriving in ‘densely built, multifunctional historic centres such as urban tourism, culture, entertainment, shopping and connected hotel and catering services.

Sunday, Aug 6 2006 

Towards Urban Cyberspace Planning: Grounding the Global through Urban Telematics Policy and Planning, Stephen Graham, pg 9-33
Technocities, John Downey and Jim McGuigan, SAGE publications, London, 1999

  • Emerging civic structures and spatial arrangements of the digital era will profoundly affect our access to economic opportunities and public services, the character and content of public discourse, the form of cultural activity, the inaction of power, and the experiences that give shape and texture to our daily routines.
  • the contemporary city while hosting vast arrays of telematic ‘entrance points’ into the ever growing world of electronic spaces, is still a meaningful place economically, socially and culturally.
  • cities can be seen to minimise space constraints, overcoming time constraints caused by distance barriers and physical movements. Whereas telecommunications on the other hand have the opposite effect, using time constraints to overcome space constraints. Because these two roles work simultaneously together future developments are becoming an intimate link between urban place and electronic space, between local and global, between physical daily life and telemediated flow.
  • The idea of city-technology relations of future cities needs to be replaced. Instead more sensitive frameworks allowing space for possibility and social innovation are required. These must acknowledge the link between electronic spaces with the lived daily urban experience of the people occupying the space, and also that social action and agency shape these futures in real places.
  • Telematic policies located in particular towns and cities play important roles in shaping the communication between place-based and electronically mediated realms. They help ground the globally integrated world of electronic spaces, making them meaningful in real places, real communities, real lives. Most cities now attempt to plan, regulate and shape urban place as well as electronic space.

Sunday, Aug 6 2006 

Digital City Kyoto, Toru Ishida

Communications of the ACM, July 2002/vol 45 No. 7, pg 76 – 81

  • The concept of digital cities is to build an area in which in regional communities can interact and share knowledge, experiences, and mutual interests. Digital cities integrate urban information (both achievable and real time) and create public spaces in the Internet for people living/visiting the Cities.
  • Using the digital city as a base, it makes research and business global, but life is inherently local.
  • Digital cities provide local advertising opportunities available in international markets.
  • Digital cities can provide the social information infrastructure for everyday life. The Digital City Kyoto incorporates a 3-layer architecture based on the newest technologies for a real time, real life fell to the city.
  • The virtual city acts as as a face to the desired outcome, and as a result provides a human interface for new broadband services.
  • Digital activities are quickly becoming an essential part of the real city.
  • Digital cities provide both profit and non-profit services and try to strike a balance between the two. Without profit services, digital cities are seldom attractive and fail to become a cities portal. Without nonprofit services, the city may become to homogeneous as a result of pursuing economic activity.
  • Each digital city has its own goal. Digital city Amsterdam was intended to provide a public communication space to people living in the city. Helenski is planning the next generation metropolitan network and Kyoto is based on a social information structure for urban life.
  • Digital cities are heading in many different directions, including tourism, commerce, transportation, urban planning, social welfare, health control, education, disaster protection and politics. Digital cities attract people because different experts contribute to building a new city, and provide and opportunity to create for people a new information space for their everyday life.

Thursday, Aug 3 2006 

Saskia Sassen: Reading the city in a global digital age: between topographic representation and spatialised power projects, pg 145-155

Future City, Stephen Read. Jurgen Rosemann and Job van Eldijk, Spon Press 2005

  • Understanding a city a city in terms of its built typography is becoming increasingly inadequate in a digital global era. Typography is crucial in that it captures what the city is about, but it doesn’t go beyond what depicts today’s globalisation or materiality.
  • Both globalisation and digitisation are are associated with dispersal and mobility, resulting in an effect on specialisation and urban typography.
  • The interpretation of digitisation suggests that it results in a dis-embedding from the material world. key concepts such as globalisation, information economy and telematics that place no longer matters, especially to the leading industries that are the most advanced users of telematics.
  • where do these businesses hit the ground and localise in concrete built environments?
  • the fact that a given city is but one site on a circuit that may contain a few or many other such cities.
  • Because of the digital capabilities in the economic sectors represented in global cities that the massive concentrations of material resources in these cities exist and keep expanding.
  • information technology has not eliminated the importance of concentration of materials, instead reconfigured the interaction of capital fixtures and hyper-mobility.
  • In the past centrality was synonymous with the downtown or CBD. The new technologies and organisational forms have altered the spatial correlates of centrality.
  • the spatial characterisation of a city made of dense nodes spread over a broader region can be seen as a new form centre. This is a partly deterriotorialised space of centrality.
  • the scaling of old hierarchies local, regional, national, global has changed. Going to the next scale in terms of size is no longer how integration is achieved. The local now transacts directly with the global, the global now installs itself on the local.

Wednesday, Aug 2 2006 

precedent: Google Vision, Point and aim:

Get lost? Do you? Well, yet another bright young designer from the U.K is developing a system that will have tag and name exactly what your staring at. Google Vision is a conceptual product developed by Callum Peden, for the worlds favorite search engine. The product provides the user with a truly unique information hub by combining GPS, OLED technology and advanced image recognition in the form of a retractable screen device.

The Global Positioning System will see the end of wondering the streets asking for directions and the small roller ball will allow for easy navigation of the flexible screen. Brilliant for identifying landmarks whilst on holidays, Google vision acts as a personal; tour guide.

As well as this, advanced image recognition will mean Google Vision can target well known landmarks. Then using the increased coverage of wireless internet, provide the user with information on their surroundings wherever they may be.

Precedent: Google 3D:

Designed by a young UK designer, Pei Kang Ng, Google3D is meant as a viable business proposal for Google, five to ten years from now. With Google3D, the idea is literally, to bring the conveniences of the search engine to your fingertips. Now, you can find out things on the move – wherever and whenever you want to – just by taking a picture. You don’t even have to type! Considering the technological advances in search, wireless technology and flexible screens, it should be a matter of time before the concept becomes feasible in technical terms. This handy partner brings the Google search bar into your world of real, tangible objects – you do not have to sit in front of your computer anymore. Armed with a camera, it allows you to search live! with a simple snapshot.

Scenario 1) Looking for a bargain? Take a picture of the product and Google will tell you where to buy it cheaper.
Scenario 2) Lost? Take a picture of the nearest road sign or any landmarks, and Google tells you where you are.
Scenario 3) Looking for a good restaurant? Simply take a picture of the restaurant’s signage and Google will tell you its customers’ ratings

Precedent: the Charge Box:

In a world that is obsessed with mobile phones, PDAs, iPods and the like, we are perpetually draining and recharging our batteries. In-home refuelling is a cinch, but the same cannot be said for public places where electrical outlets are typically guarded against unauthorized recharging. The ChargeBox offers a solution, which
consists of 6 small lockers, each with 4 unique chargers that can power 90% of our mobile devices. Users simply plug in to the charger that corresponds to their device, make payment with a coin or via SMS, lock their box and return when charging is complete. The ChargeBox will top up your battery for 40 minutes at a cost of £1. Already a big hit in parts of East Asia and the UK, it’s only a matter of time before ChargeBoxes spring up in a mall, airport, or coffee shop near you.

Tuesday, Aug 1 2006 

Design intent:

main ideas to investigate-

1. How has electronic space and expanding geographies resulted in the repositioning of the central urban area?

2. How can we use new technology to improve the quality of virtual and physical public space?

3. How can we use technology to design for the future?

Tuesday, Aug 1 2006 

Discussion with Jillian:

-group introductions for 2nd handin, major conclusions, group analysis

– individual agendas, design investigations – logical/interesting eg. interaction between virtual and physical space

– come up with 3 main agendas that relate to the design brief

– use maps/diagrams to talk about design investigations

– address what you are going to do for the next stage

To be done by thursday –

– rewrite position and have 3 individual investigations to address

– look into – connecting of geographies, mediums used to connect to other places, what is used to connect to the square?, relationship between local, national, international both past and present, imperial connections, colonisation, 1st stage empire rather than tourist, colonial Light – surveyor of adelaide and christchurch

– do search on Diane Brandt and talk to Robin Skinner

Tuesday, Jul 25 2006 

This seems like a really good idea of investigation, however I agree with Mark’s observation that you need to pick a single idea – either geographic or cultural/spatial and it seems to me that the cultural spatial is the more promising. I haven’t been able to come up with a single physical reason for centrality but it seems to me that there are heaps of social and cultural reasons for it.

I think this first bit is all going to be a bit academic for me so regard the input as practical and grass roots – we will ensure the final design looks good!!! and that it works.

 Having said that I do have some comments>
Under Issues to investigate:
Should one of the key questions that you are asking be?
Does a city need a dominant centre or physical heart? And you might take a look at the form of new cities particularly in the Middle East and South America.

Ask the question: has electronic space and expanding geography resulted in a repositioning of the central urban area(s)?
And more specifically relating to the square itself
What features draw a business to a central city space
What are the social qualities of a space
What features draw people to a space
How do you create a sense of place in a space
And specifically
What types of business inhabit the buildings around the square
What do they contribute to the square in terms of drawing people through or into the place
I also think the lanes around the square are very important as you have observed.

 You probably said all of the above in your text but the way it is worded could be a lot less obtuse.

Tuesday, Jul 25 2006 

Discussion with Jillian

  • More layered/detailed approach to analysis – continuous layers
  • Analysis of juxtapositions – Old icon of Cathedral against reality of these spaces
  • Marketing of the Square though Internet and brochures. What is the identity of Christchurch’s image? Contemporary element of Square how it fits into the identity of the city. From here i can speculate what the role of Cathedral Square is now.
  • Marketing and economic agenda against cultural agenda.
  • Think about the square differently not as form/spacial qualities of site.
  • Internet changes the way people think about/interact with space/virtual. Virtual signage of space.
  • Tourists – identify who is telling us Christchurch’s identity – who pays for these brochures
  • Mapping investigation not to be neutral – marketing agendas
  • Constructed environments
  • Uses as geography – where they overlap
  • how they use and move through the city – the suburban / tourist / woman / man
  • Sequences/ story / Mapping
  • Digital connections/virtual connections/new technologies – what can these offer to the square?
  • What are the main discussion points over the last 50 years, 20 years, 5 years

To Do:

  • Global/Local – What are the global aspects and local aspects of the square. How do the overlap.
  • Look at Federation Square – Vitual
  • Formulate brief with a new angle – Speculate where it may take you.
  • How does a tourist view the square?
  • waht is teh interaction between real space and virtual space?

Tuesday, Jul 25 2006 

Precedent: This is a virtual space created in Federation Square, Meloborne, Australia. You do not have to be physically in the space to access or meet other people with in the space. It gives teh meaning of interaction within the public space a whole new meaning. Can be seen on the site

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