This hybrid seminar, given by Petter Törnberg of the Amsterdam Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences, is co-organized by the Urban Worlds and Cultures and Natures of Tourism groups of the University of Lausanne Institute of Geography and Sustainability.
When we today navigate and explore cities – especially those less familiar to us – we do so in part through digital interfaces. We find our way using Google Maps, decide where to have a coffee using Yelp, where to sleep using Airbnb. Through this mediation, the platforms shape not only where we go in the city, but also how we understand and perceive urban place – and whose voices are heard in shaping those perceptions. As platforms in this way become implicated in the production of urban place, they raise tensions and conflicts by shifting the balances over what Henri Lefebvre called the “right to the city”: the right to access, and to define the meaning of places; the right to change ourselves by changing the city.
This talk will present the work of the on-going NWO VENI project “Seeing the City through Digital Platforms”, which uses Big Data and computational methods for the critical examination of the distributed placemaking of urban digital platforms, examined through posts, reviews, and comments. The project focuses on how platforms become implicated in gentrification, intensifying urban inequality, commodification, and cultural conflicts, as platform urbanism brings a shift towards an increasingly digital urban culture
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