About Smart-Spaces

Information and communication technologies are transforming our cities

Smart-Spaces is a scientific project from Tel Aviv University researchers, Tali Hatuka and Eran Toch. Its set to investigate how smartphones impact the way we use and observe public spaces.

Support for this project was provided by the Vice President of Research and Development, Tel Aviv University.

The Science

The influence of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the development of cities has become a prominent issue, that has been developed in acknowledged theories about the global city, the informational city, the mega city and so on. Primary scholars in the fields of sociology and geography such as Manuel Castells, Peter Hall, Graham Stephan and Bill Mitchel, to name a few, have forecasted that cities will be affected and transformed radically by ICTs. Particular emphasis has been given to the way telecommunications will modify and change the hierarchy among cities worldwide, defining new relationships between states and cities globally. Yet, these studies tend to focus on macro-abstract models and thus, overlook the influence of the micro temporal dimension of technology on both the individual and the perception of space.

What is the impact of information and communication technologies on our perceptions of public spaces?

This gap in theory and in empirical research has been addressed recently by the geographers Nigel Thrift and by Doreen Massey who called to focus the analysis of daily practices of the subject, trajectories, from both spatial and temporal perspectives.

Following these contemporary epistemological calls, the challenge of this interdisciplinary research, urban geography and computation, is to theorize the way the uses of technology influence the way we perceive and use.

Our main hypothesis is that ICTs, with their flexibility and vast options are also a disciplinary technology that re-structures space, time and relations among activities, thus modifying judgment and perceptions. In particular, this has changed dialogical practices and joint actions between subjects, in turn modifying the use and scope of public space.