The “Cities” section of The Atlantic had published a description of the Smart-Spaces project, by Tali Hatuka from the Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design at Tel Aviv University and myself. Here is a link to the article:
And here is a short abstract:
Smart phones have miraculously enabled people to stay connected, informed, and entertained, even in transit. We can now text, tweet, Skype, check Facebook updates, email in-boxes, Pandora channels and news feeds from a subway stop or street corner. The distracted walkerhas become both an urban menace and an April Fool’s laugh line.
Tali Hatuka, who heads the Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design at Tel Aviv University, laments, however, what she sees as the technology’s darker side. So many smart phones may now be spoiling the “public” in our public places. Hatuka and colleague Eran Toch have been studying smart-phone users relative to their old-school, flip-phone counterparts. And the difference between the two groups is surprisingly stark, with serious implications for the future of public space in cities and the often-uncelebrated role that sociologists say they play.