Ecrea Media & the City 2015 Conference

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science, 2425 September 2015

urban media studies preview

Keynote speeches

Carry networks… Stay in contact! Towards a situational understanding of contemporary mediated mobility practices (Ole B. Jensen)

This talk concerns the fact that our urban mobility practices increasingly are defined, afforded, and shaped by digital networked technologies. The talk will be framed through the analytical framework of ‘Staging Mobilities’ laying bare how actual everyday life situations are networked and mediated to an unprecedented level. Taking point of departure in a situational understanding the talk re-visits Georg Simmel’s more than one century old essay ‘Bridge and Door’ as the point of departure. In this essay Simmel spoke of the human ‘will to connection’ as a defining character. In the light of contemporary technological developments the talk touches upon how the situational dynamics of urban practices have been profoundly changed. The talk illustrates how this dynamic requires new concepts and vocabularies for understanding what actually happens, and contains three such new concepts namely; ‘mobilities divides’, ‘mobility code’, and the ‘proximity-connectivity nexus’. These theoretical concepts have all been developed throughout the situational analysis of contemporary urban mobility practices during the speaker’s research over the last decade. They help us re-frame everyday life urban mobility as increasingly being an issue of ‘carrying networks… staying in contact!’

Ole B. Jensen, Professor of Urban Theory, Dept. of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University. Ole B. Jensen is co-founder and board member at the Center for Mobilities and Urban Studies (C-MUS). His main research interests are within Urban Mobilities and Urban Networked Technologies. He is the co-author of Making European Space. Mobility, Power and Territorial Identity, Routledge, 2004 (with Tim Richardson), and author of Staging Mobilities, Routledge, 2013, and Designing Mobilities, 2014, Aalborg University Press. Homepage:

The Programmable City (Rob Kitchin)

Software is essential to the functioning of cities. It is deeply and pervasively embedded into the systems and infrastructure of the built environment and in the management and governance of urban societies. Software mediates how we understand and plan cities, how we manage urban services and utilities, and how we live urban lives. As a result, across a diverse set of everyday tasks – domestic chores, work, shopping, travelling, communicating, governing, and policing – software makes a difference to how social, spatial, and economic life takes place.  This paper considers how the city is translated into software, and how software is used to discursively and materially reshape and mediate the city, drawing on examples related to Dublin.

Rob Kitchin, Professor and ERC Advanced Investigator at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. Rob Kitchin is principal investigator of the Programmable City project, the Dublin Dashboard, the All-Island Research Observatory, and the Digital Repository of Ireland.  He has published widely across the social sciences, including 23 books and over 150 articles and book chapters, including Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life (MIT Press, 2011) and The Data Revolution (Sage, 2014). He is editor of the international journal, Dialogues in Human Geography, and has been an editor of Progress in Human Geography and Social and Cultural Geography, as well as the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography.  He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s ‘Gold Medal for the Social Sciences’ and was awarded the Association of American Geographers ‘Meridian Book Award’ for the outstanding book in the discipline in 2011.  He is also the author of four crime fiction novels and two collections of short stories.


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