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Every breath you take: Captured movements in the hyperconnected city

Abstract: Movement and connection have always been closely linked not only to mundane aspects of human life but also to urban form, on which they have a particular influence. Recent technological innovations have increased the scale of spatial movements and social connections to an unprecedented extent, making them a constant theme in contemporary urban imaginaries. In one of the most popular current depictions of the future of urban societies, the city is described as an environment supported by autonomous technologies that can capture, store, analyze, and act upon data of different sorts. Every breath you take in this city is captured and every movement is analyzed while control is scattered, splintered, and distributed through the many points of contact between our bodies, our minds, and the algorithmic networks that surround us. In this chapter, we analyze this urban imaginary by describing a fictional daily routine in the life of an ordinary citizen in the hyperconnected, programmable city of the near future. We will show how digital technology legitimizes itself as part of the urban texture by constantly capturing citizens’ body movements and the expressions of their thoughts. The role of urban imaginaries in finding ways to resist immobilization in everyday life will be discussed at the end of the chapter.

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Firmino, R; Van Amstel, F.M.C; Gonzatto, R. F. (2018). Every breath you take: Captured movements in the hyperconnected city. In: Christoph Lindner and Miriam Meissner, The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries. Routledge, London.

Categories: Academic Publications.

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