Linda Kopitz traces how the vision for Amsterdam’s sustainable future has been digitally mapped by “green” databases in ways that construct ideas of maintenance as care, and care as maintenance. Yet such mediations of urban nature risk fragmenting sustainable practices in the present.
Pei-Sze Chow reads the science-fiction film Tiong Bahru Social Club in the context of Singapore’s Smart Nation policies, arguing that its satirical vision of care-by-algorithm offers insights into how individuals might reclaim agency and “hack” the algocratic state.
In their introduction to the Caring Cities dossier, Linda Kopitz and Pei-Sze Chow consider how care intersects with the urban, and how care might be “designed," through the lenses of technology, politics, and the senses.
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.
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.
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.
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.