Postponed: Civic Media Lunch: Martijn de Waal, "The City as Interface" | MIT Center for Civic Media

Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 12:00pm

MIT Media Lab, E15-344

RSVP required below.

Digital and mobile media are changing the way urban life takes shape and how we experience our built environment. This seems a mainly practical matter: thanks to these technologies we can organize our lives more conveniently. But the rise of these "urban media" also presents us with an important philosophical issue: What do they mean for how the city functions as a community?

Employing examples of new media uses as well as historical case studies, Martijn de Waal shows how new technologies, on one level, contribute to the further individualization and liberalization of urban society. There is an alternative future scenario, however, in which digital media construct a new definition of the urban public sphere. In the process they also breathe new life into the classical republican ideal of the city as an open, democratic "community of strangers".

Martijn de Waal runs The Public Matters, a research office on the role of new media in society based in Amsterdam. In 2007, with Michiel de Lange he founded The Mobile City, an international research platform on the role of new media in urban design. Before that he was one of the initiators of, a professional blog on the future of Journalism and the public sphere. He is an assistant professor at the department of media studies at the University of Amsterdam. In 2009 he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Civic Media.