“Smart City” design often fails to consider how new technologies should be integrated into the design of public places. Designers and planners must work with engineers, computer scientists, and other technologists to envision how we can make this new urban infrastructure part of a civic ideal, not just solving technically-framed problems but allowing people to understand, respond to, take ownership of, and even contest new technological infrastructures.
A critical, unresolved problem for Smart Cities is bridging data analytics with humane, creative design of public spaces - the most essential physical and social environment of our cities. Rather than focus on efficiency and optimization, the Networked Public Space (NPS) project investigates how data-responsive urban design and infrastructure can deepen human relationships to their environment and empower individuals to take on the social and environmental challenges facing communities everywhere. To make this goal a reality, NPS investigates replicable, networkable streetscape and civic infrastructure systems that privilege engagement and ethics.
Between Top-Down and Bottom-Up, Networked Public Space bridges the efforts of residents to enhance their communities and governmental and private management of public space and infrastructure.