The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication traces central debates within the burgeoning interdisciplinary research on mediated cities and urban communication. The volume brings together diverse perspectives and global case studies to map key areas of research within media, cultural and urban studies, where a joint focus on communications and cities has made important innovations in how we understand urban space, technology, identity and community.

Exploring the rise and growing complexity of urban media and communication as the next key theme for both urban and media studies, the book gathers and reviews fast-developing knowledge on specific emergent phenomena such as:

  • reading the city as symbol and text;
  • understanding urban infrastructures as media (and vice-versa);
  • the rise of global cities;
  • urban and suburban media cultures: newspapers, cinema, radio, television and the mobile phone;
  • changing spaces and practices of urban consumption;
  • the mediation of the neighbourhood, community and diaspora;
  • the centrality of culture to urban regeneration;
  • communicative responses to urban crises such as racism, poverty and pollution;
  • the role of street art in the negotiation of ‘the right to the city’;
  • city competition and urban branding;
  • outdoor advertising;
  • moving image architecture;
  • ‘smart’/cyber urbanism;
  • the emergence of Media City production spaces and clusters.

Charting key debates and neglected connections between cities and media, this book challenges what we know about contemporary urban living and introduces innovative frameworks for understanding cities, media and their futures. As such, it will be an essential resource for students and scholars of media and communication studies, urban communication, urban sociology, urban planning and design, architecture, visual cultures, urban geography, art history, politics,

cultural studies, anthropology and cultural policy studies, as well as those working with governmental agencies, cultural foundations and institutes, and policy think tanks.

part I|119 pages

Trajectories of Mediated Urbanity

chapter |4 pages

Introduction to Part I

Trajectories of Mediated Urbanity

chapter 1|10 pages

An Archaeology of the Media City

Toward a Critical Cultural History of Mediated Urbanism

chapter 4|11 pages

Urban Cinema and Photography

On Cities and “Cityness”

chapter 5|9 pages

Television and the City

chapter 6|10 pages


An Urban Affair

chapter 7|8 pages

Outdoor Advertising and the Remediation of Public Space(s)

Commercialization and Beyond

chapter 8|12 pages

Consumption-Centered Urban Restructuring and the Mediation of Urban Life

From Spaces of Production to the Worlds of Seduction

chapter 9|11 pages

On the Move

On Mobile Agoras, Networked Selves, and the Contemporary City

chapter 10|9 pages

Cities of Feet and Hands

Urban Habitations

chapter 11|10 pages

Subjectivity in the Media City

The Media Life and Representation of the Cosmopolitan Stranger

part II|121 pages

Media as Urban Infrastructure; City Spaces as Media

chapter |4 pages

Introduction to Part II

Media as Urban Infrastructure; City Spaces as Media

chapter 12|10 pages

The City Is Not a Computer

On Museums, Libraries, and Archives

chapter 14|9 pages

Artificial Light and the Modernist Redefinition of Urban Space

Reading the “Electropolis”

chapter 15|9 pages

Urban Transport and Telecommunications

Dual Forms of the Communicative Skeleton of the City

chapter 16|11 pages

Global Cities as Mediated Spaces

The Role of Media in Forming Contradictory Places

chapter 17|9 pages

Our Own Devices

Living in the Smart Home

chapter 18|10 pages

Surveillance as an Urban Way of Life

chapter 20|10 pages

In the Air Tonight

The Struggles of Communicating About Urban Environmental Quality

chapter 21|11 pages

The Promises and Pitfalls of Cyber Urbanism

Governance and Participation

chapter 22|12 pages

Tools of the Trade

Urban Planning, Urban Media and the Refashioning of Urban Space

part III|115 pages

Media Cities as Sites of Creative Industries and Post-Industrial Urbanism

chapter |4 pages

Introduction to Part III

Media Cities as Sites of Creative Industries and Post-Industrial Urbanism

chapter 23|10 pages

From “Creative Cities” to “Media Cities”

The Cases of Manchester and Shanghai

chapter 26|9 pages

The Mediat(izat)ion of Urban Leisure

Screening the Event

chapter 27|12 pages

Media Architecture

Post Screens, Ante [Insert Here]

chapter 28|10 pages


An Urban Industry of Style

chapter 29|12 pages

Digital Public Art

Installations and Interventions

chapter 30|9 pages

Urban Nightlife Cultures

chapter 31|9 pages

Urban Gaming

Mobile Media, Spatial Practices, and Everyday Play

chapter 32|9 pages

From Subculture to Scene

Urban Media Practices from Below

part IV|111 pages

Spaces and Practices of Daily Life in Mediated Cities

chapter |3 pages

Introduction to Part IV

Spaces and Practices of Daily Life in Mediated Cities

chapter 34|8 pages

The Senses and the City

Attention, Distraction and Media Technology in Urban Environments

chapter 35|8 pages

Navigating Hybrid Urban Spaces

Smartphones and Locative Media Practices

chapter 37|8 pages

Temporary Inscriptions

Exploring Graffiti and Street Art in the Age of Internetization of Everyday Urban Life

chapter 38|11 pages

Creating a Situation in the City

Embodied Spaces and the Act of Crossing Boundaries

chapter 39|9 pages

Mediated Urban Protest

Practicing Dissent in Hybrid City Spaces

chapter 40|12 pages

Community, Media, and the City

chapter 41|9 pages

“The Street is the Message”

Racial Violence and the White Control of Mobility

chapter 42|10 pages

Living in the Disadvantaged end of “Dual Cities”

Understanding the Urban Poor and the Precariat