Platform Urbanization and the Impact on Urban Transformation and Citizenship

Bignami, Filippo and Hanakata, Naomi C. (2021) Platform Urbanization and the Impact on Urban Transformation and Citizenship. South Atlantic Quarterly, 120 (4). (In Press)

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This article investigates the multidimensional process of platform urbanization, which requires an exploration of both, our ‘built’ and ‘digital’ environment and an expansion of the concept of citizenship. In doing so, we highlight the necessity of a shift from a formal to a substantial conception of citizenship to better frame and explain the process of platform urbanization. The case studies of Grasbrook in Hamburg, Germany as well as the city state of Singapore offer insights into how platforms are augmenting certain capacities and how they create new challenges in the urbanization of their territory. The results presented in this article build on a study ofn the mentioned case studies over the past five years as part of a research on urban megaprojects. In addition to official documents, media reports, and scholarly work on the topic we also conducted a qualitative survey through an online questionnaire. Between October and November 2020 we collected 7 interviews from app and platforms developers in Singapore, Germany and Switzerland. The samples are selected through the authors’ personal links to networks of app and platform developers. While the survey has not statistically significance it serves to corroborate some of the insights into the case studies and the interpretation of the growing and increasingly complex role of platforms in our urban environment.

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