This is a pilot study of how digital practices - by different ages and cohorts of users - influences the movement and flows through city spaces. The pilot project involves data collection in designed and mobile spaces in three cities: Brighton, Montreal and Santiago, testing mobile and comparative methodologies.
The study looks specifically at intergenerational interactions in space in relation to digital media, exploring the confluence of media practices in street spaces in three cities, which are contrasting in a range of ways from seasonality to street culture:
In each city the focus is on spaces that incorporate design features aimed at enhancing city experiences for people with a range of social characteristics, with a particular focus on age.
Jubilee Square, Brighton
A key aim of the pilot is to compare the use of digital technologies in different cultural contexts in spaces that are designed to accommodate social difference, with the emphasis on age and intergenerationality.
The pilot project began in May 2015 with the research design and initial findings will be available in September 2015. As this is a comparative project, the timeline allows for some flexibility to enable researchers in each of the three locations to negotiate the methods so that they are both appropriate to specific cultural contexts and compatible with the overall project, and can be assimilated into one project for analysis.
The aim is that the pilot informs a larger research bid on interactions in mobile spaces. In addition the pilot project will disseminate its findings through at least one conference presentation (Association of American Geographers 2016) and two journal articles: one on cross-national research methodologies (Qualitative Research) and the other on age and the intergenerational use of digital technologies in mobile urban space (Mobilities).
Dr Lesley Murray
To follow on completion of the pilot study.
Paola Jiron, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Kim Sawchuk, PhD student