<body> Public Ad Campaign: Smart cities are boring. Give us responsive cities.
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Smart cities are boring. Give us responsive cities.

It is Tuesday morning in Brussels and I am starting the install of my show at Harlan Levey Projects today. Before I get going on that I read an interesting article sent to me and written by the CTO of a large outdoor advertising and digital infrastructure firm. I have been pitching them a very public use of the infrastructure that he created in the hopes of creating a truly democratic open platform on an outdoor advertising network. I know, I know. Working with the enemy. In some ways yes, and in some ways trying out new ideas that would create the language needed to demand an ad free space that would be required of an open public visual environment. I'll keep you posted and be open with my endeavors cause honesty is the best policy and I am a sucker for criticism, be it my own, or someone else's.

My work has increasingly begun to happen in the digital space, or at least the thinking I am forced to do as digital advertising and the ramifications of digital infrastructure make thier way through the outdoor advertising world. Beyond hacking a digital kiosk, how does one deal with this new infrastructure as an activist? Is there some aspect of digital infrastructure that might provide the kinds of opportunities I seek to replace outdoor advertising? Can digital infrastructure be a shared civic resource in a way that the old billboard could not? I think so, although getting the companies who own these public infrastructures to share them as if they were truly public is a big ask, there are opportunities to do just that around the corner. My interest is ultimately in breaking the stranglehold on public space communication that advertising has tightened over the years so that a renewed democratic civic discourse can take its place and there is something uniquely democratic about a digital screen that can alternate content and provide larger populations with a voice where traditional print media could not.

VIA: Tech Crunch
As an urban technologist, I’m often asked to give an example of a compelling smart city application that real people are using. But to be honest, there really isn’t too much to point to – yet. Cities may be getting smarter, but they haven’t noticeably changed from a user perspective. More [HERE]

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