chapter  5
Social, cultural and political
ByKatharine S. Willis, Alessandro Aurigi
Pages 22

This chapter considers factors starting with an investigation of sociocultural issues such as how digital technologies create links between social and spatial networks in urban space and how these affect ideas of community and public space. It discusses the political and power relations that affect how digital cities are developed and inhabited. The chapter focuses on how digital and smart technologies are socially constructed. It also considers whether digital and smart technologies create new forms of sociality in the city. The chapter looks in particular at what the changing idea of 'community' might mean when it no longer refers solely to people's connections to each other when they live geographically close together in towns, cities and neighbourhoods. Digital networks reconfigure social and spatial relationships, which creates new ways for people to interact in a civic or public sense; that is, new forms of community. Direct meetings in public spaces can now be replaced by indirect telecommunication.