Michiel de Lange
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From real-time city to asynchronicity
Exploring the real-time smart city dashboard

This contribution unpacks the notion of ‘real-time’ and explores ‘asynchronicity’ as a way to explore temporality in the nexus of urban dashboards. It is argued that attempts to annihilate time as a constraining factor in mapping the urban metabolism bypass the creative and oftentimes messy role of ‘smart citizens’ in shaping their own living conditions. Real-time, in fact, may be at odds with smartness and city life. Notions of asynchronicity can sensitise us to the hidden assumptions and potential fallacies in the rhetoric about real-time, and help to evoke a more engaging role of citizens as ‘city hackers’ with a sense of collective ‘ownership’. Evaluation of recent investigations of urban dashboards is followed by an analysis of the term real-time, building on Barbara Adam’s typology of time. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the implications of the real-time trope, and how asynchronicity provides an alternative heuristic of the real-time smart city.

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Time for mapping

Cartographic temporalities


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