Bridging the gaps between humans and their infrastructure: What are the challenges for citizen engagement introduced by increasing smart urban infrastructure and how might those challenges be mitigated?

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Abstract

This dissertation serves to bridge the gaps between people and their public digitalized infrastructure. The goal is to examine how digitalized infrastructure might complicate the relationships between people and public space. Once the forms of disruption are revealed, this piece attempts to discover possible solutions and, unlike most philosophical studies, practically apply them. This research follows the development of the MX3D Smart Bridge after its physical construction. The sensor component of the bridge along with how the data is accessed, visualized, and communicated to the public, continued to evolve long after the bridge was finished 3D printing in 2018.

The dissertation begins by looking at historical trends and suggests that smart infrastructure runs the risk of history repeating itself by further optimizing public space for those already most benefitted by current infrastructure. Next, the dissertation explores how infrastructure metaphysically changes once smart components are added. Following, the analysis goes a step further to determine if “cityness” (the positive attributes of a city) can be quantified using data from public digital infrastructure. After exposing the increased complexity to citizen engagement imposed by smart infrastructure, the final two chapters look towards resolution. The first contends that informing the public is a process that cannot be simply solved with a sign, but requires standardized signaling, education, data registries, and contextual open data. Finally, the dissertation ends with a practical attempt at bridging the gaps between humans and their infrastructure, documenting the process of opening a subset of bridge data to the public through a datathon.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Aydin, Ciano, Supervisor
  • Verbeek, Peter-Paul C.C., Supervisor
  • Nagenborg, Michael H., Co-Supervisor
Award date8 May 2023
Place of PublicationEnschede
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5609-5
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5610-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2023

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