Events in the connected city (part one): alt focus.

I’m trying to develop a new driving idea for the PhD, giving it some grounding and possibly a unifying structure: a rallying call, if you will.  It’s early days, but I’m pondering a shift in focus – from both events and technology to the context in which they’re brought together.  This would frame the debate, provide a rationale for investigating particular themes and open up opportunities for case studies and examples.

I’m wondering about focusing on ‘events in the connected city’.

So much of human culture, economy, society, ideas and politics takes place in cities, and they’re focal points for technology.  In cities we see people meeting, attending events, contributing to the world around them and the lives of their communities.  Innovations and the innovation process is focused on cities in many cases, partly through the public institutions which can promote it, but also the companies, charities and other civil society organisations which drive it.

Meanwhile events and festivals are at the heart of many a city’s annual cultural, political, religious and business cycles.  How do these events work and what impact has technology had on their workings?

That’s my starting point; I’ll be spending time trying this structure out for size against some of the ideas I’ve already set out, getting a feel for what fits.  Meanwhile, here are a couple of images entitled Festival City, taken in Dubai and hosted on Flickr under a Creative Commons licence: why spend generations building a reputation as a festival city when you can grow one in the desert?

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