Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics: The Practice and Promise of the Real-Time City
Foth, Marcus (Ed.) (2009) Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics: The Practice and Promise of the Real-Time City. Information Science Reference, IGI Global, Hershey, Pa.
I hope that this book will stimulate your mental metabolism with a rich and multi-faceted degustation menu. Sampling the 'dishes' prepared for this urban smorgasbord will take you on a tour de force covering a great range of timely and significant topics and issues such as sustainability, digital identity, surveillance, privacy, access, environmental impact, activism, participatory planning, and community engagement. The book exposes research accounts which seek to convey an appreciation for local differences, for the empowerment of people and for the human-centred design of urban technology. Both contributors and coverage are international. They are not limited to cases based in Europe and America only. Rather, I purposefully sourced chapters covering Asia, Africa and Australia by a most engaging and prolific group of authors not afraid of presenting challenging and controversial ideas. The book starts with some introductory examinations that situate urban informatics research in the field and critique some of the assumptions behind urban informatics, as well as propose new ways of thinking. The second section focuses on ways people use technology to participate in urban planning scenarios and online deliberations. The engagement of urban communities is the central theme of the third section of the book and brings together examples from Germany, Mexico, Australia, and Canada dealing with multiculturalism, user-led innovation, creative expression and social sustainability. The fourth section comprises examples of studies which investigate the link between the physical and digital city in the context of location, navigation and space. Wireless and mobile technology and its socio-cultural impact on urban communities and environments is the topic of the chapters in section five. And for dessert, the book concludes with a selection of outlooking and speculative chapters which examine trends in Korea and China, socio- technical innovation that support location-sensitive tools for the real-time city and citizen science, and commentaries exploring the digital desaturation of the city and – in the afterword – the relation of urban informatics to social ontology.
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