A City of Things

More of a short note but Richard Coyne touched on cities a few days ago in his post, Cities as media, and Shannon Mattern’s earlier book, Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media. I have the new one somewhere but the idea of smart cities existing since classical and earlier times appeals.

Is the city perpetually ‘smart’ using the various technologies? If so, then what does this mean for the current smart cities with the Internet of Things? Is it just a medium or, referencing Lev Manovich, has the city as medium developing new media? It is a point to ponder in something that I am thinking about with a view to writing up. Put as it is, it is a confused point but one that suggests points of departure in terms of exploring it through software.

This requires further investigation and reading of Shannon Mattern’s latest, The City is not a Computer.

Manovich, Lev. 2013. Software Takes Command. Bloomsbury, New York

Mattern, Shannon. 2017. Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media. University of Minnesota Press, Minneaopolis

Mattern, Shannon. 2021. The City is Not a Computer. Princeton University Press, Princeton


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