From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen

From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen

Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement

Edited by Marcus Foth, Laura Forlano, Christine Satchell and Martin Gibbs

Afterword by Judith Donath

Studies from around the world show how the social media tools of Web 2.0 are shaping engagement with cities, communities, and spaces.
Hardcover $55.00 S £43.00





Studies from around the world show how the social media tools of Web 2.0 are shaping engagement with cities, communities, and spaces.

Web 2.0 tools, including blogs, wikis, and photo sharing and social networking sites, have made possible a more participatory Internet experience. Much of this technology is available for mobile phones, where it can be integrated with such device-specific features as sensors and GPS. From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen examines how this increasingly open, collaborative, and personalizable technology is shaping not just our social interactions but new kinds of civic engagement with cities, communities, and spaces. It offers analyses and studies from around the world that explore how the power of social technologies can be harnessed for social engagement in urban areas.

Chapters by leading researchers in the emerging field of urban informatics outline the theoretical context of their inquiries, describing a new view of the city as a hybrid that merges digital and physical worlds; examine technology-aided engagement involving issues of food, the environment, and sustainability; explore the creative use of location-based mobile technology in cities from Melbourne, Australia, to Dhaka, Bangladesh; study technological innovations for improving civic engagement; and discuss design research approaches for understanding the development of sentient real-time cities, including interaction portals and robots.


$55.00 S | £43.00 ISBN: 9780262016513 544 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 108 figures


Marcus Foth

Marcus Foth, Founder and Director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, is Professor in Interactive and Visual Design, School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty, at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Laura Forlano

Laura Forlano is a Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell University.

Christine Satchell

Christine Satchell is Senior Research Fellow at the Urban Informatics Research Lab.

Martin Gibbs

Martin Gibbs is a Lecturer in the Department of Information Systems at the University of Melbourne.


Judith Donath.


  • This well-presented edited book provides an important staging post in our developing understanding of the form and function of the digital city...Building upon the outcome of two research workshops, the contributors begin to lift the lid on issues of citizen engagement with cities in an age of ubiquitous computing. illustrating by using well-drafted international case studies...Overall, the editors have done an excellent job in structuring and formatting sometimes very diverse interdisciplinary subject matter.

    Paul Longley

    Environment and Planning B:Planning and Design