2015 | Smartphone’s Influence on Public Space

The influence of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the development of cities has become a prominent issue advanced in theories about the global city, the informational city, the mega city and so on. Prominent scholars in the fields of sociology and geography, such as Manuel Castells, Peter Hall, Graham Stephan and Bill Mitchel, have forecasted that ICTs will radically affect and transform cities. Particular emphasis has been given to the way telecommunications will alter the hierarchy of cities worldwide, defining new relationships between states and cities on a global scale.

However, these studies tend to focus on macro-abstract models and thus overlook the influence of the micro-temporal dimension of technology on both the individual and the perception of space. These theoretical and empirical gaps have recently been addressed by the geographers Nigel Thrift and Doreen Massey, who called to focus the analysis of subjects’ daily practices and trajectories from both spatial and temporal perspectives. Following these epistemological calls to attention, the challenge of this interdisciplinary research in urban geography and computation is to theorize the influence of technology use on the ways in which we perceive and act in space. Our primary hypothesis is that ICTs, characterized by flexibility and a vastness of options, are also disciplinary technologies that re-structure space, time and relations among activities, thus modifying judgment and perceptions. In particular, ICTs have changed dialogical practices and joint actions between subjects, in turn modifying the use and scope of public space.

Support for this project was provided by the Vice President of Research and Development, Tel Aviv University

Project
Team

  • PIs: Dr. Tali HatukaDr. Eran Toch 
  • RA: Carmel Hanany 

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