Out now: study “Ownership in the Hybrid City” (in Dutch)


Virtueel Platform commissioned Martijn de Waal and me (The Mobile City) to do a study about the ways media technologies and e-culture can help to design livable and lively cities.

In this study we present “ownership” as an alternative design approach. In today’s cities, our everyday lives are increasingly shaped by digital media technologies. How can we engage these technologies to design for cities where citizens feel they belong, where they feel the city belongs to them as well, ands where they have the power to act on communally shared issues? In short: how can digital media aid in strengthening a sense of ownership among urbanites?

With ownership we mean the extent to which urbanites share a sense of belonging and responsibility for their urban environment, and engage in collective issues. Typically, complex urban issues are not ‘owned’ by a single party but commons questions that involve multiple stakeholders and require collective forms of governance.

In the study we propose to address complex urban issues through the lens of ‘ownership’. We signal three interrelated promising developments: the creative (re)use of digital data as a new resource (data-commons), do-it-yourself urban design based on collaborative principles of online culture, and reaching and activating new networked publics through digital media. Three actual cases from the Netherlands are described, followed by a series of reflections and recommendations.

At the moment the report is still in Dutch only.

More information & free download of the report >>

In February 2012 The Mobile City in collaboration with Virtueel Platform and other partner organization will organize an international event around this theme. We have already posted a call for an internship position to collaborate in this event. Stay tuned!

Some upcoming events & activities I am working on

The beginning of this academic year will be quite busy:


Sept 14 2011 Amsterdam.
Session during PICNIC 2011 “Future Cities: Designing for Ownership”

First, at PICNIC this year I’ll present a fresh new study about ‘Ownership in the Hybrid City’ that I’ve done together with Martijn de Waal. The study was commissioned by Virtueel Platform. More about this study (and the international event we are planning in its wake) soon at The Mobile City website.

More information >>

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Sept 20 2011 Istanbul
Session during ISEA 2011 “Beyond Locative: Media Arts after the Spatial Turn”

After PICNIC I rapidly move on to Istanbul for the ISEA 2011 symposium, where I’ll be in a session together with Marc Tuters, Tristan Thielmann, and Mark Shepard, to talk about the future of locative media.

More information >>

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Sept 22 – Nov 3 2011 Utrecht
Lecturing course “The Media City”,
Utrecht University

Just back from ISEA, I will start teaching a course that I have been developing as part time lecturer New Media Studies, Utrecht University. It is a totally new program for an existing bachelor II course, called “new media in the current debate” (the course is in Dutch). I have chosen to take ‘the media city’ as an umbrella theme. A fine group of guest lecturers will be giving talks. This is how the course looks in a nutshell:

week1, Sept 22 – Introduction (Michiel de Lange)

week2, Sept 29 – ‘Hybrid space’: the relation between digital and physical space (Eric Kluitenberg)

week3, Oct 6 – New media and urban publicness (Martijn de Waal)

week4, Oct 13 – Privacy & surveillance in the media city (Sander Flight)

week5, Oct 20 – Media art and the urban experience (Annet Dekker)

week6, Oct 27 – Urban play & gamification (Kars Alfrink)

week7, Nov 3 – eParticipation and co-design: designing cities with new media (Carl Lens)


Sep 1 2011 ->
Research project “Mobile Learning”

This academic year I will also devote one day per week to the research project in progress about “Mobile Learning”, joining several of my colleagues at the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play, at Utrecht University, and mobile story-telling platform 7scenes.

More information >>