Moving in the Metropolis: Smart City Solutions and the Urban Everyday Experience

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


The omnipresence of technology in cities has had an undeniable effect on the urban everyday experience. This experience is increasingly structured by technological objects or constellations of converged technologies. Activities in a city affect how and what technologies are developed but these new and emerging technologies also have an inevitable effect on what is perceived to be the possible sphere of action. The aim of this article is to interpret and understand some of the ways in which new technologies are changing – and have already changed – the way we experience the city. The focus is on those elements of everyday experience that have a clear relation to how the city is experienced aesthetically, through its technological representations or in more direct contact with the physical environment. We set out to examine what type of consequences technological change has regarding the perceptual and interpretative skills that are needed when moving in the urban environment. Of course, we recognize that technology has already profoundly changed the way people come into contact with urban environments. However, there is a shift within the experiential sphere that has not been described thoroughly enough. The implementation of many smart city solutions is affecting urban dwellers and their engagement with the everyday urban environment. Urban aesthetics in its philosophical and applied forms offers perspectives on how and to what extent technologies mediate experiences in the urban sphere. Emphasis is put on understanding and evaluating urban technologies and their role in the constitution of everyday experience by introducing the phenomenological concept of urban lifeworld. We illustrate the theoretical discussion with examples such as contemporary navigation technologies and the metro as a complex technological system. The focus is on the implications of their use on the aesthetic experience and evaluation of urban environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchitecture and the Smart City
EditorsSergio Figueiredo, Sukanya Krishnamurthy, Torsten Schröder
Publication date6 Nov 2019
Article number16
ISBN (Print)9780367342074
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameAHRA Critiques: Critical Studies in Architectural Humanities

Fields of Science

  • 211 Architecture
  • 6132 Visual arts and design

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