Neighborhood Planning of Technology: Physical Meets Digital City from the Bottom-Up with Aging Payphones
Keywords:Neighborhood, planning, payphone, phonebooth, repurposing, appropriation, redesign, process, urban planning, participatory design, participatory planning, civic engagement
AbstractWhat does it mean to “plan” a technology? Designs with a footprint in public space are important hybrids, including wired bus stops and rebuilt payphones. Our goal is to shift from designing technology for a neighborhood by planning technology as part of the neighborhood. Aging phone booths were purchased in LA’s historic Leimert Park. For six months, residents joined with technologists to tackle a planning issue (gentrification). We developed a method of “deep engagement” to sustain grassroots planning in socio-technical systems, especially around the digital divide. The method resists “solving” the payphone problem, and instead theorizes engagement as four social scaffolds to bring technology literacy into the planning process.