Technological Interfaces of the City. The Promise

Technological Interfaces of the City – The Promise of a Real Bottom-Up Urban Planning


The subject of bringing information and communications technology (ICT) into play of urban planning has now become a recurrent item. However, in contrast to earlier endeavors, it is no longer to be a tool of a top-down comprehensive decision-making, but a promise of a real bottom-up, open-source, collaborative and radical—sometimes even revolutionary—planning. New ideas have emerged in the field of urban innovations: using social networking services for place-based community development; involving geo-media technology into citizens’ and market every-day decision making process; providing e‑management tools as means of empowering citizens’ participation; and even creating some particular types of web ‘games’ that support expressing collective needs and visions, or, at least, serve as educational tools. All of them contribute to the creation of technological interfaces of our cities: they exist between people and physical structures of cities, between people and city administration, and just between people themselves.

There is a big hope placed in those interfaces, which seem to make urban planning not only smarter, but more democratic and much more just. Nevertheless, some old arguments, which show weaknesses of employing information and communications technologies directly into urban planning, should be recalled and reinterpreted within new context. Therefore, the paper calls into question whether these technological environments may truly contribute to the real change in urban planning—the change from the top-down to the bottom-up approach.



Filip A. J., Technological Interfaces of the City – The Promise of a Real Bottom-Up Urban Planning, „Challenges of Modern Technology” Vol. 6 (No 2), April-June 2015, pages 57-62.

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