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.
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!