Dossier: Urban-Digital Spectacle

Dossier editors: Amy Y. Zhang, Asa Roast, and Carwyn Morris

Amy Y. Zhang, Asa Roast, and Carwyn Morris, Introduction: Urban-Digital Spectacle

Amy Y. Zhang, Asa Roast, and Carwyn Morris reflect on the complex roles that digital technology and social media play in the production and consumption of urban space.

Petter Törnberg, The Urban Attention Economy: How Our Cities Are Rebuilt for Social Media

Urban aesthetics have become social media aesthetics, argues Petter Törnberg. Drawing on research from São Paolo, Törnberg shows how the logics of social media have become integral to the new urban attention economy.

Kath Bassett, The Development of Edinburgh’s Harry Potter Tourism Scene and TripAdvisor as an “Ordering Resource”

Kath Bassett examines how locative media platforms such as TripAdvisor have shaped the development of Harry Potter tourism in Edinburgh.

Chensi Shen, “Influencers Crush Wukang Road”: Creating Wanghong Landscapes in the Former French Concession in Shanghai

The former French Concession in Shanghai has become a key destination for tourists and social media influencers. Chensi Shen investigates the area’s cultural symbolism and its new status as an urban-digital landscape.

Antonie Angerer, Intentional Wanghong Environments Mediating Urban Futures in Xiongan New Area

Exploring China’s latest megacity, Xiongan New Area, Antonie Angerer shows how social media and urban-digital spectacle have become incorporated into the urban planning process.

Kola Heyward-Rotimi, Corporate Afrofuturism: Development Strategies for African Smart Cities

Kola Heyward-Rotimi investigates the speculative aesthetics of “corporate Afrofuturism” as a mode of neoliberal world-building. For smart city projects such as Nigeria’s Eko Atlantic, international architecture firms render digital projections of the continent’s urban future.

Anna Liu, Wanghong Urbanism for Our Single Planet

Can the phenomenon of wanghong urbanism be harnessed for positive change? Reflecting on some of her projects, the architect Anna Liu discusses the challenge of creating landmarks for a digital world and the potential for design to catalyse environmental awareness.

Monica Degen and Gillian Rose, Spectacle and/as the New Urban Aesthetic

Emphasising the sensory experience of the digitally mediated city, Monica Degen and Gillian Rose propose critical tactics for understanding the everyday power relations of the “new urban aesthetic.”

[Photo credit:  Annie Spratt on Unsplash]