DIGGEO@ESOMAS_Digital Technologies and the City

Matrice, Città, Urbanizzazione

We are establishing a new research cluster at the University of Turin, ESOMAS Department, on Digital Geography and Society. Our research team is running three distinct but interrelated projects, in collaboration with other institutions and departments.

1. Digital Social Innovation in Turin (2021-2023)

(Chiara Certomà and Paolo Giaccaria)

Our deconstructive analysis of the semiotic-material dimensions of DSI practices is aimed at:

  1. develop an analytical framework to explore DSI theory and practices (in particular the different perspectives of DSI in Turin);
  2. identify the conditions that trigger or hinder the agency of digital social innovators in Turin;
  3. investigate the interaction between DSI communities and urban space (social, political and cultural) and how these generate distinct spatialities;
  4. analyze how the different narratives produced within the ISD are mobilized to create / support specific urban imaginaries.

From a methodological point of view, the study adopt the Actor Network Theory, which implies long times of participatory observation to trace the spatial and social relationships produced by different actors throught their agency. This project builds upon previous research funded by the University of Turin (2020-2021) with the title “Social Digital Innovation and Urban Transformations”.

2. “Network of Laboratories for Civic Technologies Co-Production: Digital Services for the Public Administrations of the future” – NLAB4CIT (2021-2023)

(Fabio Iapaolo, Chiara Certomà and Paolo Giaccaria)

We are collaborating with the Department of Computer Science, University of Turin, in the EU-funded project “Network of Laboratories for Civic Technologies Co-Production: Digital Services for the Public Administrations of the future” (NLAB4CIT), led by Guido Boella and managed by Cristina Viano and Alice Zanasi. The project aims at establishing a European network of Local Laboratories of Civic Technologies, where public administrations, citizens / and economic actors experiment processes of co-production of public services enabled by digital technologies.

Our digital geography team is working on:

1) Mapping available technologies, needs expressed by citizenship, services / sectors involved, organizations (educational, research centers, SMEs) that can provide adequate skills for the design and production of quality services – in the territorial contexts involved in the experimentation of the project.
2) Mapping existing experiences of “digitally enabled co-production of services” in other territorial contexts, at the European level.
3) Structuring a repository of digital solutions, use cases and co-production methodologies
4) Contributing to the definition of a scalability and sustainability strategy for a European Network of Local Laboratories of Civic Technologies.

3. “Sustainable cities and digital participation. Analysing and modelling digital social innovation processes in the governance of urban sustainability in Turin and Brussels” (2022-2025)

(Samantha Cenere, Chiara Certomà and Paolo Giaccaria)

In collaboration with Edgeryders O.U. we are running a research project funded by the Italian Minister of Research on green and innovative projects.

The project revolves around the identification, analysis and modeling of digitally enabled social innovation initiatives for tackling sustainability challenges in the city and fueling democratic participation processes. By adopting qualitative-quantitative research methods (including web-mining and mapping, Semantic Social Network Analysis, participatory observation, discourse analysis and in-deep interviews) the researcher will investigate the operational practices and the knowledge sharing fluxes that characterize the work of the social innovators working on (socio) environmental sustainability challenges in Turin and Bruxelles. Urban regeneration processes performed via ecological co-housing, green infrastructure restoration and public space commoning are potentially investigated. 

C.Certomà  (2022) “Future scenarios of Digital Social Innovation in Urban Governance. A collective discussion on the socio-political implications in Ghent”, Cities, 122, 103542

–> ResearchGate project page

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