[Research] Locative Media effects on the City

Antony Townsend's take about locative media and its effects on urbanism. Really interesting. Thomas also point us to other claims.

a clear understanding of the implications of locative media, good or bad, is unlikely to emerge soon from research and observation. The problem is simply too complex for easy answers. These technologies are being deployed in a highly decentralized manner by a wide variety of actors. On top of this is layered a mosaic filter of cultures and subcultures absorbing these new innovations at different rates and appropriating them for their own needs.

One way of bringing some structure to this debate which I have employed lately is to place this moment of indecision about locative media into a historical context, looking back to previous technological transformations of the urban landscape. (...) Yet like the automobile, locative media are likely to boost demand for mobility and the energy consumption required to achieve it. While efficiencies will surely be realized in supply chains and other bulk distribution services, it may all be offset by increased movement of individuals engaged in spatial arbitrage to gain an advantage in social or professional transactions. (...)

Thus there are two equally possible scenarios &– that locative media are the trigger for an unsustainable explosion in personal mobility in the world&’s great cities, or that they are the key to unlock knowledge that will help us achieve a sustainable global urban system.