“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. Within this context, 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. The Networked Public Spaces (NPS) project investigates how data-responsive urban architectures and infrastructures can function as catalytic tools of communicative action, deepening human relationships to their communities and facilitating socio-political (not only techno-infrastructural) responses to urban environmental challenges. We propose a replicable, networkable streetscape and civic infrastructure system prototype that closes the loop between data collection, data analysis, data representation, and the physical design of these public spaces.

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