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Description - Unplugging the City: The Urban Phenomenon and its Sociotechnical Controversies by Fabio Duarte

Modernity has entrusted technology with such power that it is treated as an autonomous entity, with its own manners and morals. Technological disruptions are also socially disruptive: technological failures reveal both the constituents of the technology itself and the social fabric woven by this technology. Cities are the quintessential technological arrangement, not only materially but also as a conceptual framework: the ubiquity of technology makes us think and plan cities mostly in terms of technological arrangements.

Unplugging the City: The Urban Phenomenon and its Sociotechnical Controversies proposes a conceptual and methodological framework for analyzing certain urban phenomena as a technological assemblage. It demonstrates, through multiple case studies, the sociotechnical complexities involved in the stabilization and disruption of urban technological arrangements. Examples range from the urban phantasmagorias portrayed in science-fiction movies to the urban proposals of Brasilia and Masdar, from the book of bike-sharing systems to pervasive global surveillance systems.

Written by Fabio Duarte and Rodrigo Firmino, based on their original research and publications, this is an essential resource for those interested in the theory and study of technology and its inextricable influence on the city.

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