Departing from the traditional understanding of the social implications of urban design and the underlying notion of ‘place’, the chapter first questions its current relevance vis-à-vis the mediated city. It examines whether ICT has given rise to the establishment of new notions of space and place, identifying new design challenges for cities and rethought approaches to the production of space. In view of the latter, the chapter subsequently questions the manner with which digital media may facilitate inclusive design of public spaces. In order to address this objective, the chapter illustrates some interesting empirical data emanating from literature and research projects based in the UK, Poland and Malta. The case studies in the literature illustrate how ICTs are being used as tools within participatory processes for the inclusive design of urban public and recreational spaces and in order to gauge citizen/user expectations towards urban space. The chapter finally attempts to redefine public participation through ICT and to frame the above discussion within the potentially newly redefined role of urban designers involved in such processes. The underlying question to be addressed in this chapter, therefore, has to deal with the manner with which urban professionals may effectively achieve inclusive participatory design, particularly in light of new phenomena brought about by the mediated city and with the potential of this newly obtained and enriched data.
Smaniotto Costa, Carlos; Šuklje Erjavec, Ina; Kenna, Therese; de Lange, Michiel; Ioannidis, Konstantinos; Maksymiuk, Gabriela; de Waal, Martijn