Civic Pluralism: Designing for Enriched Intercultural Experiences of Place
This chapter addresses placemaking as a technique for developing civic pluralism. Municipal authorities face increased governance challenges when diverse groups flow into cities with established populations. The new groups, treated as ‘other’, may not be seen as part of the unfolding heritage in the life of a city. Physical segmentation and alienation can cause differences to be violently expressed on the grounds of religion, ethnicity, and perceptions of the right of possession. The Internet of Things (IoT) can create enriched experiences of urban heritage through its capacity to connect people and material objects in multiple, interactive ways. The chapter argues through illustrations, and an account of the design of research, that open, purposeful and technologically-enabled placemaking can facilitate a civic pluralism which is experiential, interactive and free from authoritatively monocultural majoritarianism in both assumptions and values. Designing pluralist heritage informatics and civic memorialization practices means re-purposing existing in situ heritage experiences, creating new ones available for self-curation, and collective production through free municipal wifi and high mobile connectivity. The IoT, in connecting unique urban waypoints and access to public resources, can contribute to multi-layered, individuated narratives of the city, which are designed to assist in the governance of differences.
KeywordsPlace Place-making Diversity Intercultural locatedness Smart technologies
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