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On public objects: Connected things and civic responsibilities in the networked city
Adam Greenfield, Urbanscale
The place of public objects in...

Urbanscale, NY. Design for networked cities
Stay close to the frustrations and heartbreaks of the user in dealing with interface of everyday life

techno determinism vs social constructionism
Does tech create culture or does culture create tech?

Robert Moses
mid 20th century
modern infrastructure in NYC
pushed through by his own will (much like Paris)

some say Moses inscribed his own racism into the highway system.
Overpasses were built to be too low for busses.
If they couldn't get through, then poor people can't get into the city

Parks and stuff are built inside the ring of overpasses.

Be careful how we design our own prejudices into our technological systems.

On the other hand, technology has a way of growing around these prejudices. Technology has its own intent.
(me: What does technology want?

Now we are looking at objets that record, monitor, act on information in a way that can be very deterministic.

networked technologies Greenfield finds difficult
Traffic sensor. Flashes blue light when it senses a bicycle or pedestrian.
Not networked, not gathering persistence information.
This is the kind of thing nobody has much of a problem with.

Sensor-equipped ad in Seoul.
Red carpet in the subway. When you walk by, flash bulbs go off for the Paparazzi.
intention is to make you feel
Greenfield sees this as an unwelcome intrusion, but it's temporary, not networked, etc.
Not useful, but not horrible.
Touch vending machine, Tokyo
Does not display all products. It has a camera and analyses your age and stuff.
Greenfield finds that problematic because he doesn't want to accept that

Video billboard with a small camera in the frame. Hidden.
The analytics package tries to gauge your reaction to it. Male or female, are you paying attention to it or not, what age are you?
Even if you are not paying attention you are generating value

You generate value for someone else without your consent simply by using public space. This is problematic.

A commercial entity is deriving profit from your participation in public space.
We should all share in the profit of public space
Also, it is terribly normative.

His problem: targeting too good
My problem: targeting not good enough bc too normative

Wellington cameras installation was voted on, but to upgrade the software with facial recognition was not.
Citizens tend to focus on hardware

Proposal: New jurisprudence of public spaces.
Make data streams collected in public spaces OPEN. APIs, read/write privileges.
Nonrivalrous and nonexcludable. No way to put a paywall around them, no way to prevent another person using the same data.

Problem: More vulnerable to attack and exploitation. Greenfield assumes that the benefits will outweigh this danger

New etiquettes, protocols. Who has priority access? This is another burden.

Public space is at risk. Private and commecial interests are taking over.
People move through space in a bubble more and more.
We need spaces of solidarity and mutuality.

Democracy happens and is seen to happen in the public sphere.

We need to make sure that we end up with a smart city that we are happy living in.

Latour: We inscribe ou prejudices into uor systems
Winner: Our systems
Lessig: Code is law


Some examples of open public networked systems
Zipcar, City Car Share, Bike Sharing are examples of networking an existing class of objects.
(me: But this is not an open data source. How cool would it be if public bike sharing data was open and usable by all? Pretty cool.)
Megahouse--> They take vacant rooms and put them online for people to schedule, like a conference room. Nice. Megahouse sees this as a commercial exchange. Greenberg wants non-commercial shared use as well (me: dream on).


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