OII SDP 2007 (XXIII): Designing for Place-Based Social Interaction of Urban Residents in México, South Africa and Australia

Lead: Marcus Foth

  • How do residents connect with each other to create and maintain social networks?
  • How can technology dbe degisned to neotiate a balance between the opportunitiews of interactive services vs. identity, trust and privacy?
  • What is the role of content?

What’s community? Social network, urban village, swarm, neighbourhood, me and my friends… Have something in common?

Shift from the “little boxes” model to personalized social networks: more permeable boundaries…

Urban tribes: swarms of interconnected friends, filling the gap between college and married life, fluidity of social networks, place and proximity matters.

Communicative Ecology

  • Discursive layer
  • Social layer
  • Technology layer

global vs. local; collective vs. individual; online vs. offline

Community as Collective vs. Community as Network

  • interest in the community vs. interest in the individual
  • community activism vs. personal, social networking
  • public vs. private
  • many-to-many vs. peer-to-peer switchboard
  • formal discussion vs. informal chat
  • asynchronous vs. synchronous
  • permanent vs. transitory
  • hierarchically structured vs. networked to the “edge of chaos”
  • discussion board, mailing lists vs. instant messenger email, SMS
  • Gemeinschaft vs. Urban Tribe
  collective interaction networked interaction
geographically dispersed online communities online social networking (e.g. MySpace, Facebook)
place based collective interaction for discussion about place networked interact for sociability in place


Connectivity does not ensure community. If you build it, they will not necessarily come. On the other hand, social capital rich communities are likely to progress and also to have a preference for “social isolation”.


More info


SDP 2007 related posts (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “OII SDP 2007 (XXIII): Designing for Place-Based Social Interaction of Urban Residents in México, South Africa and Australia” In ICTlogy, #46, July 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from https://ictlogy.net/review/?p=589

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