Big Data, Code and the Discrete City explores how digital technologies are gradually changing the way in which the public space is designed by architects, managed by policymakers and experienced by individuals. Smart city technologies are superseding the traditional human experience that has characterised the making of the public space until today. This book examines how computers see the public space and the effect of algorithms, artificial intelligences and automated processes on the human experience in public spaces.

Divided into three parts, the first part of this book examines the notion of discreteness in its origins and applications to computer sciences. The second section presents a dual perspective: it explores the ways in which public spaces are constructed by the computer-driven logic and then translated into control mechanisms, design strategies and software-aided design. This perspective also describes the way in which individuals perceive this new public space, through its digital logic, and discrete mechanisms (from Wi-Fi coverage to self-tracking). Finally, in the third part, this book scrutinises the discrete logic with which computers operate, and how this is permeating into aspects of city life.

This book is valuable for anyone interested in urban studies and digital technologies, and more specifically in big data, urban informatics and public space.

chapter |14 pages


part Part I|53 pages

Continuity and discreteness

chapter 1|26 pages

The idea of discretisation

chapter 2|25 pages

Discrete public space

part Part II|72 pages

The discrete city

chapter 3|52 pages

The production of the discrete city

chapter 4|18 pages

Perception of the discrete city

part Part III|65 pages

The new public realm