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Lessons from Urban Guerrilla Placemaking for Smart City Commons

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ACM Press, New York


The combination of digital technology and urban design provides a potent mix full of opportunities and challenges for increasing the wellbeing of citizens and the environment. Under the general rubrics of 'smart cities' and 'placemaking' various practices have emerged that all seem to suggest desirable urban futures for the common good can be created if only the artful integration of people, place and technology is achieved. Yet, the key question is how. Concerned with the notion of digital placemaking specifically, this paper dissects this premise in three steps. (1) It presents a critical review of placemaking both from a social and from a managerial point of view. (2) It then introduces a specific set of examples of 'urban guerrilla' placemaking interventions. (3) The assessment of these examples juxtaposed with the critique of conventional placemaking practices informs a nascent hypothesis: Cities are in need of reform that reconceptualises the role of regulatory frameworks away from inhibiting access and novel usages of public space and towards enabling participatory forms of citymaking.


Foth, Marcus (2017): Lessons from Urban Guerrilla Placemaking for Smart City Commons. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies. DOI: 10.1145/3083671.3083707. ACM Press, New York. ISBN: 978-1-4503-4854-6. pp. 32-35. Long Papers. Troyes, France. June 26-30, 2017