Urenio Watch Watch: Cities

The Hackable City: Digital media and collaborative city-making

hackablecity_coverThis book presents a selection of the best contribution to the Digital Cities 9 Workshop held in Limerick in 2015 and was edited by Michiel de Lange and Martijn de Waal. It combines a number of the latest academic insights into new collaborative modes of city making that are firmly rooted in empirical findings about the actual practices of citizens, designers and policy makers.

This book explores the affordances of new media technologies for empowering citizens in the process of city making. It relates examples of b0ttom-up or participatory or city-making practices to reflections about the changing roles of professional practitioners in the processes, as well as the issues of governance and institutional policy making. As the editors note,

Taken together they contribute to a wider debate about practices of technology-enabled collaborative city-making, and the question how city hacking may mature from the tactical level of smart and often playful interventions to a strategic level of enduring impact.


Introduction – The Hacker, the City and their Institutions: From Grassroots Urbanism to Systemic Change – Martijn de Waal and Michiel de Lange

Part I   – Design practices in the Hackable City

  • Power to the People: Hacking the City with Plug-In Interfaces for Community Engagement – Luke Hespanhol and Martin Tomitsch
  • Rapid Street Game Design: Prototyping Laboratory for Urban Change – Viktor Bedö
  • The City as Perpetual Beta: Fostering Systemic Urban Acupuncture – Joel Fredericks, Glenda Amayo Caldwell, Marcus Foth and Martin Tomitsch

Part II – Changing Roles

  • Transforming Cities by Designing with Communities – Rosie Webb, Gabriela Avram, Javier Burón García and Aisling Joyce
  • Economic Resilience through Community-driven (real estate) development in Amsterdam Noord – Matthijs Bouw and Despo Thoma
  • This Is Our City! Urban Communities Re-appropriating Their City – Gabriela Avram
  • Removing Barriers for Citizen Participation to Urban Innovation – Annika Wolff, Daniel Gooch, Jose Cavero, Umar Rashid and Gerd Kortuem

Part III – Hackers and Institutions

  • Working in Beta: Testing Urban Experiments and Innovation Policy Within Dublin City Council – Fiona McDermott
  • Reinventing the Rules: Emergent Gameplay for Civic Learning –   Cristina Ampatzidou
  • Data Flow in the Smart City: Open Data Versus the Commons   – Richard Beckwith, John Sherry and David Prendergast

Part IV – Theorizing the Hackable City

  • Hacking, Making, and Prototyping for Social Change – Ingrid Mulder and Péter Kun
  • Unpacking the Smart City Through the Lens of the Right to the City: A Taxonomy as a Way Forward in Participatory City-Making –   Irina Anastasiu
  • A Hacking Atlas: Holistic Hacking in the Urban Theater – Douglas Schuler
  • Of Hackers and Cities: How Selfbuilders in the Buiksloterham Are Making Their City – Michiel de Lange
  • Epilogue: Co-creating a Humane Digital Transformation of Cities

The book is open access.

  • Read the whole book here.