Cities are exciting. Cities are buzzing. They are alive with movement. A rapid flow of exchange is facilitated by a meshwork of infrastructure connections: road systems, building complexes, information and communication technology and people networks. In this environment, the Internet has advanced to become the prime communication medium that connects many threads across the fabric of urban life.

The increasing ubiquity of Internet services and applications has led many scholars to question the dichotomy between cyberspace and real space. New media and information and communication technology afford an increasingly seamless transition between mediated and unmediated forms of interaction.

Driven by curiosity, initiative and interdisciplinary exchange, ‘urban informatics’ is an emerging cluster of people interested in research and development at the intersection of people, place and technology with a focus on cities, locative media and mobile technology.

In this presentation Dr Marcus Foth provides an overview of the urban informatics research questions and projects which the ‘New Media in the Urban Village’ team in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia), are currently working on. Funded by government and industry, some of the projects are exploring the communicative ecology of urban residents, community engagement using public history and digital storytelling, and social navigation for mobile urban information systems.

About the speakers

  • Dr Marcus Foth

    Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation at Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

    Dr Marcus Foth is a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. Employing human-centered and participatory design methods, his research pioneers new development approaches towards interactive social networking systems informed by community, social, and urban studies. As an OII Visiting Fellow, Dr Foth will study opportunities of Internet technology to support social networks of urban residents in Mexico, South Africa, Australia, and the UK. This study brings together the expertise of researchers from four continents in a two year collaborative project under the leadership of Dr Foth. The team will select and examine local case studies to prepare an international comparison of community networking approaches. Dr Foth has published over thirty articles in journals, edited books, and conference proceedings in the last three years, and is currently editing a book on Urban Informatics to be published by IGI Global in 2008.