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Why is it so hard to integrate ICT into the Planning agenda?
Lookup NU author(s)
Professor Alessandro Aurigi
Firmino R, Aurigi A, Camargo A
Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)
Sustainable Solutions for the Information Society: 11th International Conference on Urban Planning and Spatial Development for the Information Society (CORP)
Year of Conference
13-16 February 2006
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Recent definitions of theories and concepts attribute social and cultural aspects to the shaping and organisation of space, and deny the idea of space as an aseptic container where social interactions simply take place. However, new elements also need to be taken into account in the struggle for the comprehension of contemporary urban society; elements related to the latest developments of ICTs. The aim of this paper is to critically discuss some of these prominent notions of urbanity which consider not only the social and cultural aspects of space, but also the articulations of its virtual and physical characteristics. We explore and relate concepts of recombinant space, and cybernetic or symbiotic urbanisation, with the understanding that these are an inherent part of the constant and unstoppable process of actualisation of our cities. According to this standpoint, we argue that the so-called ‘virtual city’ is only one of the elements that characterise the contemporary city, which is an ‘augmented’ city itself. In this sense, a few questions need to be considered: what kind of places can be considered under the lens of the ‘recombinant’ space concept? How are physical and virtual spaces reacting to what has been called symbiotic (or infinite) urbanisation? How can we define the city under these cybernetic relations between physicality and virtuality? What is the augmented city within the scope of these concepts? And finally, what is the relation between virtual cities and symbiotic urbanisation? We address these questions in three steps. First, we discuss the way in which ICTs are challenging traditional notions of space, territory, region, and city, introducing the way the activities of architects, designers, planners and city-makers are equally being challenged by these technologies. In the second part we deal with many of the new concepts responsible for the re-conceptualisation of urban space, and the idea of an augmented space and city. The alternative views of recombinant places, cybernetic or symbiotic spaces, are knitted together to enhance our understanding of the process of contemporary urbanisation. The third part draws some conclusions and suggests directions for the contextualisation of urban technology within the evolutionary process of urban space.
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