The PUBLIC SPACE RESEARCH GROUP welcomes, Troy Simpson presenting, Public space in the smart city: Navigating the ambiguities of emerging digital infrastructure.
As public spaces become increasingly “smart,” the sometimes connected and sometimes disjointed layers of simultaneous data collection conducted via an ever-growing array of public and private sensors and systems is positioned to drastically reconfigure user experiences. What is the nature of users’ awareness or conceptualization of these emergent dynamics, and what are their associated processes for navigating these various forms of surveillance and aggregation of information? In what ways are the boundaries of activities redrawn when the field of experience is mediated so significantly by a characteristically ambiguous and unknowable set of observers? This presentation will use Hudson Yards and other “smart” public spaces as the context for a critical exploration of smart cities technologies, including the mechanisms by which they reproduce their images and behavior settings, and their relationship to processes of securitization, privatization, and commodification of the publics.
Troy Simpson is a research associate at the Public Space Research Group, the Director of Research and Operations at 3×3, a visiting instructor at Pratt Institute, and a doctoral candidate in environmental psychology at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York. Troy studies human-environment relationships in the context of public spaces as well as the application of social science research methods to architecture and urban design. Troy’s current research is focused on the intersection of public spaces and emerging technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and political science from Santa Clara University and a Master of Arts in Climate and Society from Columbia University.
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