Week 2: Smart Cities and Digital Culture

Poster states that the main difference between old broadcast media and new media was the old media was passive, whereas the latter is active. (Poster, 1995), though Lister et al argue that this is simplistic, describing new media as “digital, interactive, hypertextual, dispersed and virtual.” (Lister et al, 2009). New media and digital cities go hand in hand.

This focus on the digital can be seen with UK company, Future Cities Catapult who are dedicated to ‘enhancing’ urban environments and innovation to grow companies. They focus on “integrated urban planning, healthy cities and urban mobility.” (Future Cities Catapult, 2017). One of their projects was developing a strategy to make the University of Glasgow a smart campus. Townsend describes smart cities as “places where information technology is wielded to address problems old and new.” (Townsend, 2013: xii). This may be on a larger scale than a smart campus, but shares similarities.

At the University of Glasgow, digital technology was recommended for use to enhance the students experience and give them a competitive edge. It would also allow students to study from any location, changing the dynamics of education and space. Their website states that creating a smart campus would lead to enhanced learning and better life on campus. (Future Cities Catapult, 2017).

The University would have to be adaptable according to Miller’s position that the internet and much of its content are in a “continual state of transformation.” (Miller, 2009: 29). This is reinforced by Future Cities Catapult statement on their website, which starts that the smart campus “actively learns from an adapts to the needs of its people and place, unlocking the potential of e-technology and enabling world-changing learning.” (Future Cities Catapult, 2017).

According to Townsends “we experience the symbiosis of place and cyberspace every day. It’s almost impossible to imagine city life without our connected gadgets.” (Townsend, 20123: 6). Using Townsends theory, this comfort with digital technologies in everyday life would transfer well into the realm of education.

Bibliography:
Future Cities Catapult. 2017. Future Cities Catapult. Available at: http://futurecities.catapult.org.uk (Accessed 10/02/17).

Lister, M. 2009. In In Miller, V. 2011. Key Elements of Digital Media. In Understanding Digital Culture. Sage: London. Pp.12.

Miller, V. 2011. Key Elements of Digital Media. In Understanding Digital Culture. Sage: London. Pp.12-29.

Poster, M. 1995. In Miller, V. 2011. Key Elements of Digital Media. In Understanding Digital Culture. Sage: London. Pp.12.

Townsend, A., M. 2013. Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. Pp.xii-6.

1 thought on “Week 2: Smart Cities and Digital Culture

  1. Miller (pg 11) states while quoting Poster (1995) that Media in this digital age is a “lean forward” medium rather than a “lean back” (pg 13). This statement can be linked to the idea of building smart campuses or rather updating traditional campuses with more digitised functions to allow the student to adapt to the facilities that the university possesses. This decision will allow students to have more options that are not currently available or are not yet existent in many universities. This idea could eventually be adapted in all the universities all around UK. Although, this process of digitizing the campuses will be rewarding both to students and staffs, it will enhance the learning process in the sector of education and un-lock new potential in many people.

    References
    Future Cities Catapult. 2017. Future Cities Catapult. Available at: http://futurecities.catapult.org.uk (Accessed 27 Feb 2017).

    Miller, V. 2011. Key Elements of Digital Media. In Understanding Digital Culture. Sage: London. Pp.12-29.

    Poster, M. 1995. In Miller, V. 2011. Key Elements of Digital Media. In Understanding Digital Culture. Sage: London.

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