Urban democracy in Japan


Session Title:

  • Citizenship and Contested Spaces

Presentation Title:

  • Urban democracy in Japan




  • Abstract

    The rise of digital media technologies has been accompanied by the rhetoric of participation, interaction and a new realization of democracy in which everyone is given a voice. In the urban environment digital infrastructure increasingly pervades the physical but, as has been heatedly debated, this does not necessarily offer new freedoms. The urban is an increasingly contested space – public, private and corporate space have become progressively disputed. Our movements are controlled and under surveillance, personal data is collected and ideas of democracy are increasingly equated with consumption. The role of the citizen is a blurred one. What does the citizen belong to and what are their rights and responsibilities? How can
    new technologies be utilized to counter the very methodologies of control that they are used to promote? How can they offer participation and authorship and form community, particularly in the urban environment? This paper will examine the particular context in Japan in relation to these questions and offer examples of creative projects which have tackled some of the emerging issues.