Planning for Netborgs Avatars: Imaginary Overview to ‘Smart’ Urbanity

Authors: Jenni Partanen*, Tampere University of Technology, Annuska Rantanen, Tampere University of TEchnology, Seija Ridell, University of Tampere
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Technology, Cognitosphere, Urban Planning, Cyborgs, Complexity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Ambassador Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Technological development boosts humanity and urbanity in a co-evolutionary manner: tools and cities we create push us to new ontological territories, constantly revising the conception of humanity, and our ability to build even more advanced tools, in a circular loop.We must admit the intertwinement on humans and technology. We use/are used by our phones, computers and bonus-cards systems, with no option to opt out. Technology is woven into “being human” on the level individuals and nested meshwork of data, algorithms organizing it, AI-systems/protocols, and humans: a cognitosphere. In the relational world, the dichotomies of human/technology, human/animal or physical/non-physical (or “real”/virtual) are paradoxes. We should abandon the illusion of bi-polar purity, and respect the constant becoming of new bundles. We are incorporated in the cognitosphere as avatars: wishful (re)presentations ourselves- revealing dark, uncanny sides of our digital subconscious, warping space and time. We are intrinsically natural-born networked cyborg avatars.Here we discuss the ontological fundamentals of urban planning/design in a world were wearable, built-in technologies afford us extended sensoria, enabling us to connect with nature in new ways, simultaneously veering their perception towards simulacra. Particularly challenging is the possibility to be present in multiple places at the same time as avatars, skewing notions of time, space and social order. Regading this anticipation of the netborg revolution we embrace the complex systems perspective. How would fundamentals of planning thinking change? Would it lead to a post-humanistic turn if embraced a more bottom-up approach, allowing for a “return of the senses”, surprises and imagination?

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