The city is not the anonymous place that was predicted some 35 years ago, but a place for civic engagement. Connected places are being crafted as gathering spaces. Walking and socializing with others, sharing the everyday rhythms of places, sounds, smells, collective memories, and stories, has encouraged place making as an ongoing activity with community involvement, interaction, and intellectual engagement. A sense of safety and well-being prevails.
While virtual cafes and networks abound, the use of public spaces has increased. Young people are experiencing a deeper sense of connection to the real world. In the process of hunting virtual monsters through the immersive media, families venture into neighborhoods where they had never ventured before, noticing the landmarks, paintings, and statues, and become more connected to the real world. These gaming applications make it much easier and more common to interact with new places and new people, and stronger bonds develop within families and communities. People are experiencing and capturing the stories and meanings of forgotten heritage places via augmented reality applications.
Nanjing Map Photo Gallery
ICT applications are increasingly used by local communities to reframe local issues with a potential for global significance. Grassroots urban activism has become an outcome of democratic political discourse. Local communities are highly engaged in decisions about their physical environment, and are helping increase social capital.
Benchmarking people, place, and transport connectivity through the Connected Places Audit Tool has become the norm. Continual checks quickly identify problems or inadequacies in approaches, procedures, policies, and implementation measures, and remedial action is taken to address current and future needs.
Government provides an enabling environment for investment in sustainable transport infrastructure, thus influencing private-sector investment. Transport and land development challenges are addressed with innovation and education. Political, ideological, and disciplinary differences are mediated through awareness campaigns, outreach programs, and collaborative stakeholder approaches. Urban professionals have taken their studios and offices into the streets, and are understanding communities’ needs and everyday practices through their own embodied experience of urban places, making it easier to comprehend and analyze urban issues. They have become urban ethnographers. Ethnography of movement and place has emerged as a new discipline. Connecting places, connecting people has been established as a paradigm.
Page numbers in italic indicate figures and in bold indicate tables, end of travel destinations notes are indicated by a letter n between page number and note number.