A new paper was recently accepted to the journal Urban Studies: The emergence of portable private-personal territory (PPPT): Smartphones, social conduct, and public spaces. The paper is a collaboration with Tali Hatuka, the Head of the Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design, in the Department of Geography and Human Environment at Tel Aviv University. The paper is the first published work in Smart-Spaces, an interdisciplinary project that tries to assess the impact of ubiquitous technology on privacy and on cognitive perceptions of public places.

The current paper is based on a comparative study, where we have researched users of basic phones and smartphone. Here is the abstract:

Smartphones expand our spheres of communication. When walking in a park, one is engaged in juxtaposed spheres: ongoing emails, news sources, work affairs, private conversations, and social networks. By temporarily disregarding one’s physical environment and ignoring the people around, it is expected that the device will take attention and focus. This condition raises questions: how does this state of mind influence social interactions in a place? How does this dynamic shape behaviour in public spaces? These queries are related to an ongoing debate about the relationship among social interactions, information technology, and the built environment. Of the vast body of knowledge on this theme, we focus on two ongoing, related discussions in urban studies as the ground for addressing these queries: (1) the role of public spaces in contemporary cities and (2) the relation between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and people’s daily routines in cities.

Pictures ny LCUD.