Attention in the Wake of Emerging Urban Technologies

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    Technology in one form or another has always been a part of urban life and the different types of environments where it takes place. What types of technologies have been taken into use and developed in the first place has traditionally been dictated by the very practical needs of the urbanized community. However, these technologies have also a significant impact on how a city looks and feels to its users, inhabitants and visitors alike. Some technologies are marked by a clearly perceivable presence in the urban environment whereas others are more invisibly embedded into the material structures of the city. Urban aesthetics as a branch of environmental aesthetics focuses on studying the very specific aesthetic values and qualities present in contemporary urbanized areas. It can be used also to explain, how different types of aesthetic values manifest in urban environments and whether and how conflicts in values are resolved. As we move further into the 21st century, the aesthetic identity of different types of cities is changing due to new development in the form of large-scale adoption of technologies such as 5G network and self-driving vehicles (SDVs). The planned and unplanned aesthetic consequences of new and emerging technologies are thus of special interest in this paper. The aim is to show how concepts such as aesthetic attitude and attention are relevant for understanding the new type of sensibility that new and emerging technologies require or make possible for their users. There is also focus on how technological development might reduce the range of possibilities for aesthetic choices and thus create more inequality between urban dwellers. Emphasis is made on the distinction between the everyday urban experience and more transitory ways of using the city, since this is significant for preconditions of the experience such as attention and attitude.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - May 2021
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    EventAnnual Conference of the Nordic Society of Aesthetics: The Aesthetics of Attention - University of Aarhus/online, Aarhus, Denmark
    Duration: 20 May 202121 May 2021


    ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Nordic Society of Aesthetics
    Internet address


    • aesthetics


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