From Digitalization to Capturing "Cityness": is it possible to make the essence of good cities measurable with sensors and algorithms?

Sage Isabella Cammers-Goodwin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper seeks to uncover whether or not cityness can be made measurable and suggests a possible case study to operationalize cityness. Cityness is a value comprised of city users and the built environment. While it has repeatedly been confirmed that certain characteristics of cities have tangible benefits, it remains challenging to understand how and to what extent these traits can be nurtured by the built environment. Recently, however, the increasing digitalization of public space has brought new opportunities to operationalize physical properties and human interactions that lead to cityness. This article reviews and ethically examines a continuum of experiments using digital tools ranging from GIS to IoT systems to see to what extent they can successfully quantify previously intangible traits of city life. Finally, it introduces the case study of a sensor embedded 3D printed footbridge that was installed in De Wallen, Amsterdam Summer 2021. Ultimately, the bridge provides an opportunity to study how a singular infrastructure relates to cityness over time and in relation to naturally occurring events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-44
Number of pages23
JournalEast Asian Journal of Philosophy
Volume1
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Cityness
  • Built Environment
  • Big Data
  • Digitalization

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