1st Edition

Social Media and the Contemporary City

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367902506
November 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
196 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

The widespread adoption of smartphones has led to an explosion of mobile social media data, more than a billion messages per day that continuously track location, content, and time. Social Media in the Contemporary City focuses on the effects of social media on local communities and urban space in a variety of political and economic settings related to social activism, informal economic activity, public art, and global extremism.

The book covers events ranging from Banksy art installations, mobile food trucks, and underground restaurants, to a Black Lives Matter protest, the Christchurch mosque shootings, and the Pulse nightclub shooting. The interplay between urban space, local community, and social media in each case study requires diverse methodologies that are both computational (i.e. machine learning, social network analysis, and natural language processing) and ethnographic (i.e. semi-structured interviews, thematic analysis, and site analysis). The book views social media not as a replacement for local community or urban space but rather as a translation of the uses and meanings of all three realms.

The book will be of interest to students, researchers, and instructors in a number of disciplines including urban design/planning, media studies, geography, and communications.

Table of Contents



Chapter One Introduction

Chapter Two Methodology


Chapter Three Black Lives Matter

Chapter Four Honk Kong Protests

Chapter Five Women’s March


Chapter Six Mobile Food Trucks

Chapter Seven Iran Venders (coauthored with Neda Kardooni)

Chapter Eight Underground Restaurants

Art & Culture

Chapter Nine Banksy

Chapter Ten Burning Man

Mass shootings

Chapter Eleven Christ Church Shootings

Chapter Twelve Pulse Nightclub Shootings

Chapter Thirteen Conclusion

List of Illustrations



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Eric Sauda is Professor of Architecture and adjunct faculty at the Charlotte Vis Center and the School of Data Science UNC Charlotte. His research interests include interactive environments, digitally augmented performance and social media in architecture and urban settings. Professor Sauda’s work has been published in the Journal of Architecture Education, Journal of American Planning Association, New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture, and Planning Support Science for Smarter Urban Futures.


Ginette Wessel is Assistant Professor of Architecture at Roger Williams University. Her primary research interests include contemporary issues of urban development with an emphasis on social equity, sustainability, and communication technology. Dr. Wessel’s research has been published in The MIT Press, Journal of American Planning Association, New Media & Society, Journal of Urban Design, and Participatory Urbanisms.


Alireza Karduni is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Northwestern University’s Department of Computer Science. His research connects human computer interaction and computational social sciences. He studies how people interact with social media data under uncertainty. Dr. Karduni’s work has been published across multiple disciplines, in venues such Transactions in Visualizations and Computer Graphics, Journal of American Planning Association, and Social Media + Society.