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The New Urban Aesthetic: Digital Experiences of Urban Change

Author/EditorDegen, Dr Monica Montserrat (Brunel Univ (Author)
Rose, Gillian (The University of Oxford, (Author)
ISBN: 9781350070837
Pub Date27/01/2022
BindingHardback
Pages192
Dimensions (mm)234(h) * 156(w)
¥14,738
excluding shipping
Availability: Available to order but dispatch within 7-10 days
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Cities are key sites for the reproduction of global capitalism, and urban branding is central to this transformative dynamic. In the 21st century, cities are also being profoundly reconfigured by the deployment of many kinds of digital technologies. Both of these shifts entrain sensory bodily experiences. This digitally mediated reconfiguration of what cities feel like is what this book terms the new urban aesthetic.

The book focuses on three examples of urban change in which digital technologies of different kinds were central: a large scale urban redevelopment in Doha, the retrofitting of Milton Keynes to become a smart city, and the cultural regeneration of Smithfield Market into the Culture Mile in London. Each case study focusses on a different kind of digital mediation, including the computer-generated images created to sell new urban developments, smart city phone apps, and Instagram posts about particular urban places. The book identifies three versions of the new urban aesthetic: glamorous, flowing, and dramatic. It shows how each of these organize sensory experiences through particular distributions of temporality and spatiality. As well as exploring the importance of sensory constellations in our digitally mediated cities, the book also offers ways to investigate their fragility and potential for subversion.

The New Urban Aesthetic is essential reading for researchers and students in urban studies, architecture, digital studies, sociology, and human geography.

Cities are key sites for the reproduction of global capitalism, and urban branding is central to this transformative dynamic. In the 21st century, cities are also being profoundly reconfigured by the deployment of many kinds of digital technologies. Both of these shifts entrain sensory bodily experiences. This digitally mediated reconfiguration of what cities feel like is what this book terms the new urban aesthetic.

The book focuses on three examples of urban change in which digital technologies of different kinds were central: a large scale urban redevelopment in Doha, the retrofitting of Milton Keynes to become a smart city, and the cultural regeneration of Smithfield Market into the Culture Mile in London. Each case study focusses on a different kind of digital mediation, including the computer-generated images created to sell new urban developments, smart city phone apps, and Instagram posts about particular urban places. The book identifies three versions of the new urban aesthetic: glamorous, flowing, and dramatic. It shows how each of these organize sensory experiences through particular distributions of temporality and spatiality. As well as exploring the importance of sensory constellations in our digitally mediated cities, the book also offers ways to investigate their fragility and potential for subversion.

The New Urban Aesthetic is essential reading for researchers and students in urban studies, architecture, digital studies, sociology, and human geography.

Monica Montserrat Degen is Reader in Cultural Sociology at Brunel University London, UK. Gillian Rose is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford, UK.

Table of Contents List of Figures List of Tables Preface 1: Introducing the New Urban Aesthetic 1. Setting the scene 2. The urban: materialities and imaginaries 3. The aesthetic: sensations and staging 4. The digital: devices and data 5. Differentiation and power relations 6. Case studies, methods and evidence 7. Conclusion 2: The New Urban Aesthetic: A Conceptual Framework 1. Introduction 2. Branding cities, shaping experiences 3. Urban experiencing and digital mediations 4. Aesthetics: produced, conceived, perceived, lived 5. The new urban aesthetic, difference and power 6. Conclusion 3: The Conceived Aesthetics of Urban Redevelopment: The Case of Msheireb Downtown, Qatar (co-authored with Clare Melhuish) 1. Introduction 2. The case study: introducing Msheireb Downtown 3. Spatialising urban glamour: 'something one wants on the cover of a magazine' 4. The temporalities of urban glamour: 'the key to the image is that you are telling a story' 5. The conceived new urban aesthetic: when glamour goes wrong 6. Conclusion: texturising glamour 4: The Perceived Aesthetics Of Digital Urbanism: Feeling Digital Embodiment In Smart Milton Keynes 1. Introduction 2. The case study: Milton Keynes, smart city 3. Conceiving smart cities: storytelling about smart MK 4. Perceiving the new urban aesthetic in a smart city: the flow of bodies and/as data 5. Appified sensations in smart MK 6. Perceiving the new urban aesthetic of flow, again 7. Conclusion: texturising flow 5: The Lived Aesthetic of Urban Social Media: Anticipating the Culture Mile's Future 1. Introduction 2. The case study: The Culture Mile, Smithfield Market and anticipatory urbanism 3. Instagram as an expressive infrastructure for branding 4. Dramatising the Culture Mile: the Culture Mile branding strategy on Instagram 5. The lived experiencing of Smithfield with Instagram 6. Conclusion: texturizing drama 6: The New Urban Aesthetic and its Power 1. Introduction 2. Power and the new urban aesthetic: differentiating and distributing 3. Storytelling and the new urban aesthetic 4. Animating the new urban aesthetic 5. Seamfulness: seeing aesthetic labour 6. Conclusion 7: Conclusion: The Differentiation and Potentialities of the New Urban Aesthetic 1. Introduction 2. The new urban aesthetic: reprise 3. The limits of the new urban aesthetic 4. Other new aesthetics of cities 5. Afterword References Index

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