Grassroots efforts in contemporary urban mapping: an analysis of alternative uses of collaborative platforms

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


Technologies have started to overlap new virtual communication and information layers on top of the urban physical territory, thus bringing along distinct possibilities of social organization. Regarding this phenomenon and intending to achieve improvement in a great variety of fields from Politics to Urban Planning, the terms of Smart or Digital Cities among others have been adopted, still without directly addressing the socio-organizational potential Information and Communication Techniques are bringing along. This article analyzes the evolution and feedback of a Living Lab, through the everyday use of contemporary extended tools of social and media apps, formed with the aim of quantifying the yet inefficiently mapped network of the region. By means of bottom-up development strategies, the possible achievement of more proficient initiatives compared with the current top-down approaches is assessed, not only in terms of economical cost, but also in scope and response capacity. Furthermore, expecting to indicate a line for future research possibilities, as their output and results constitute a continuously updated statistic bank, at the same time a solid database of important usefulness for other disciplines has been naturally developed, intuitively setting up a model capable of exportation to other similar communities.