Code and the City: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Code and the City

1st Edition

Edited by Rob Kitchin, Sung-Yueh Perng


240 pages | 47 B/W Illus.

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Software has become essential to the functioning of cities. It is deeply embedded into the systems and infrastructure of the built environment and is entrenched in the management and governance of urban societies. Software-enabled technologies and services enhance the ways in which we understand and plan cities. It even has an effect on how we manage urban services and utilities.

Code and the City explores the extent and depth of the ways in which software mediates how people work, consume, communication, travel and play. The reach of these systems is set to become even more pervasive through efforts to create smart cities: cities that employ ICTs to underpin and drive their economy and governance. Yet, despite the roll-out of software-enabled systems across all aspects of city life, the relationship between code and the city has barely been explored from a critical social science perspective. This collection of essays seeks to fill that gap, and offers an interdisciplinary examination of the relationship between software and contemporary urbanism.

This book will be of interest to those researching or studying smart cities and urban infrastructure.

Table of Contents

1. Code and the City (Rob Kitchin and Sung-Yueh Perng) Part One: Code, coding, cities 2. From a line of code to an assemblage to the entire city (Rob Kitchin) 3. Code-crowd: How software repositories express urban life (Adrian Mackenzie) 4. Encountering the city at hackathons (Sophia Maalsen and Sung-Yueh Perng) 5. Abstract urbanism (Matthew Fuller and Graham Harwood) 6. Interfacing urban intelligence (Shannon Mattern) Part Two: Code, locative/social media, mobility 7. Moving applications: A multilayered approach to mobile computing (Jim Merricks) 8. Digital social interactions in the city: Reflecting on location-based social media (Luigina Ciolfi, and Gabriela Avram) 9. Feeling place in the city: strange ontologies, Foursquare and location-based social media (Leighton Evans) 10. Cultural curation and urban Interfaces: Locative media as experimental platforms for cultural data (Nanna Verhoeff) 11. Digital urbanism in crises: A hopeful monster? (Monika Büscher, Michael Liegl and Katrina Petersen) Part Three: Cities, knowledge, governance 12. Cities and context: The codification of small areas through geodemographic classification (Alex Singleton) 13. The city and the Feudal Internet: Examining institutional materialities Paul Dourish) 14. Semantic cities: Coded geopolitics and rise of the semantic web (Heather Ford and Mark Graham) 15. Coding alternative modes of governance: Learning from experimental "peer to peer cities" (Alison Powell) 16. Big data and stratification urban futures (Agnieszka Leszczynski) 17. The Cryptographic city (David M. Berry)

About the Editors

Rob Kitchin is Professor and ERC Advanced Investigator in the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Sung-Yueh Perng is a postdoctoral researcher on the Programmable City project at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – [email protected] – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – [email protected] – Routledge Commissioning Editor

For more information on the Regional Studies Association, visit


Did you know that as a Regional Studies Association member you’re entitled to a 30% discount on all Routledge books? To order, simply email Luke McNicholas ([email protected]), or phone on +44 (0) 20 701 77545 and declare your RSA membership.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development