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"The City as Interface.How Digital Media are Changing the City" by Martijn de Waal | Nai010 Publishers, Rotterdam, 2014 ©

The City as Interface
How Digital Media
Are Changing the City

Martijn de Waal

Published by NAI010 Publishers, Rotterdam | paperback, 14.5x22.7 cm
208 pages | design: Joseph Plateau, 2014 | ISBN 9789462080508

Digital and mobile media are changing the way urban life and how we experience our built environment. On the face of it, this is mainly a practical matter: thanks to these technologies we can organize our lives more conveniently. But the rise of ‘urban media’ also presents us with an important philosophical issue: How do they influence the way that the city functions as a community?

Employing examples of new media uses as well as historical case studies, Martijn de Waal shows how new technologies, on one level, contribute to the further individualization and liberalization of urban society. There is an alternative future scenario, however, in which digital media construct a new definition of the urban public sphere. In the process they also breathe new life into the classical republican ideal of the city as an open, democratic ‘community of strangers’.


The Future of the City: a Smart City or a Social City?

• Chapter 1
Pendrecht: a Brief History of the Parochial Domain
• Chapter 2
The Neighbourhood as an ‘Interface’ in Daily Life
• Chapter 3
Digital Media and the Parochial Domain
• Chapter 4
The Eternal Crisis of the Public Domain
• Chapter 5
Schouwburgplein: the Public Domain in Practice
• Chapter 6
Digital Media and the Public Domain

The City of the Future, The Future of the City


Martijn de Waal is assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam and cofounder of The Mobile City, a research group that investigates the influence of digital media technologies on urban life, and the implications for urban design.