Sensing the city, visualizing urban stories – Matteo Azzi


Novel means for understanding our lives, organizations and societies are coming from the digital world and the Internet: a massive amount of information is emerging from the digitization of contemporary cities, through technologies embedded into streets and buildings or carried by people and vehicles. This stratification of experiences demands new modes of inquiry and synthesis: a new generation of city maps capable to define and visualize both physical and social environments, as well as individual and collective narratives.

Our research projects aiming at disclosing and exposing emerging issues, discourses, and uses of the cities and the urban context. This is done by observing and visualizing the digital traces, expecially coming from the direct experience of people who live in, visit or just pass through the city, and the news that narrate its stories and rumors.
While traditional methods used for acquiring and processing information about the cities and its fruition seem to be inadequate to meet this need, the necessary challenge for urban studies lies in the integration of available digital knowledge bases (e.g. sociali media data) together with innovative uses of traditional data (e.g. mobile data), aimed at capturing the variety of changes in urban practices.