chapter  4
18 Pages

Perception of the discrete city

WithSilvio Carta

This chapter focuses on the discrete city as perceived by the individuals in the urban environment. People move in the built environment following a system of discrete references, guided by GPS map indications on Smartphones, and then describing lines, touching definite points that are translated from a digital map to the physical environment. Individuals’ perceptions of the city are filtered by digital devices, such as satnavs, mobile phones and tracking devices (e.g. Fitbit). This means that the urban scenario is perceived as a combination of digital inputs available to the individual at a particular moment in a specific place, and grey areas characterised by the absence of Wi-Fi or GPS signal or digital details. Cities are increasingly characterised by the presence or absence of specific information, and the notion of place is increasingly related to the data availability in the area. This concept results in a radical new concept of the way in which an individual sees and understands the urban environment. This chapter investigates the mechanisms that underpin the digital experience of individuals in the physical city, where the two perceptions, the physical and the digital, are combined with the latter augmenting the former.