Participatory Mobile Urbanism

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search


"Participatory Urbanism presents an important new shift in mobile device usage - from communication tool to “networked mobile personal measurement instrument”. We explore how these new “instruments” enable entirely new participatory urban lifestyles and create novel mobile device usage models.

In the spirit of Urban Computing, Participatory Urbanism is the open authoring, sharing, and remixing of new or existing urban technologies marked by, requiring, or involving participation, especially affording the opportunity for individual citizen participation, sharing, and voice. Participatory Urbanism builds upon a large body of related projects where citizens act as agents of change. There is a long history of such movements from grassroot neighborhood watch campaigns to political revolutions. It is not a disconnected personal phone application, a domestic networked appliance, a mobile route planning application, an office scheduling tool, or a social networking service. Participatory Urbanism promotes new styles and methods for individual citizens to become proactive in their involvement with their city, neighborhood, and urban self reflexivity. Examples of Participatory Urbanism include but are not limited to: providing mobile device centered hardware toolkits for non-experts to become authors of new everyday urban objects, generating individual and collective needs based dialogue tools around the desired usage of urban green spaces, or empowering citizens to collect and share air quality data measured with sensor enabled mobile devices.

Our mobile devices are more than just personal communication tools . They are globally networked, speak the lingua franca of the city (SMS, Bluetooth, MMS), and are becoming the dominant urban processor. We need to shatter our understanding of them as phones and celebrate them in their new role as measurement instruments. Our desire is to provide our mobile devices with new “super-senses” and abilities by enabling a wide range of physical sensors to be easily attached and used by anyone, especially non-experts.

We argue there are two indisputable facts about our future mobile devices: (1) that they will be equipped with more sensing and processing capabilities and (2) that they will also be driven by an architecture of participation and democracy that encourages users to add value to their tools and applications as they use them." (