6. Challenging Urban Chimera: Digital Stories from the City Multiverse

Focusing on the relationship between environment and technology, which has generated the city as a unique artifact (Tarr, 2010), the session tends to provoke different insights into ambiguous nature of contemporary urban life, entangled into both physical and digital realms and growing fears. Representing a cornerstone of urban resilience (Macaluso and Briscoe, 2015), technology continuously upgrades urban performances, providing a number of tools addressing three areas of urban life – human behavior (as a response to global challenges and (r)evolution threats), environment (detecting change and protecting resources) and the imperative of efficiency. The increasing digitalization has also added numerous possibilities of distorted and simultaneous perception, with a city as an ever-changing interface (De Waal, 2014). Its multiverse, shaped by uncountable needs, values and identities, represents a modern chimera composed of real and virtual entities whose unpredictable nature could stir up both fear and hope.

Considering this dual nature of urban life, the session will highlight the use of digital tools in developing solutions for growing urban fears, while also evaluating their safety and benefits in/for society. Since the desired future of cities is conceived as a balanced interaction between digital and physical space, where digital elements could be used to improve the experience of built environment and address various security challenges, the presented cases could also provide different scenarios and recommendations enhancing the perception of digital safety and a transition to ‘democracy of representations‘ (Bratton and Jeremijenko, 2008).

Therefore, we invite papers addressing various urban phenomena caused by the threats of our epoch, which demonstrate the application of innovative, digital solutions in order to facilitate everyday life and shape new urban software (e.g. open data applications used in Boston, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Medellin, joint pilot projects such as City.Risks etc.).



  • Dr Aleksandra Stupar, Associate Professor, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urbanism, Serbia
  • Doc Soc Sc Tuula Teräväinen, Post Doc researcher, Department of Historical and Geographical Studies/Environmental Policy, University of Eastern Finland

Abstract proposals can be sent to stupar@arh.bg.ac.rs