• Words

    Nik Baerten

  • Images

    Benjamin Sporken

Prof. Carlo Ratti, founding partner Carlo Ratti Associatie, Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, Turin, Italy

Senseable (adj): simultaneously able to sense and be sensible

“The “Smart City” definition was coined at the turn of the 20th century to characterize Western societies’ optimism about how new digital technologies would improve living conditions in the world’s major metropolis. However, since the late 2010s, the term’s reputation steadily declined, as it became closely associated with the viewpoint – typical of the late Web 2.0 period – that the Internet had turned from an instrument of bottom-up empowerment to a tool for technocratic political control. As the “Smart” label lost its reputation, the “Senseable” neologism started to emerge. By the 2050s, the new adjective had become mainstream, particularly in the distich “Senseable city”. With its double meaning – “able to sense” and “sensible”- the term was used to define and support some of the most progressive digital policies of the time, thanks also to the efforts of the coordinated campaigns of “Digital Humanists” in San Francisco, Boston, Abuja, Berlin, Ho Chi Minh City, and other leading cultural centers mid-21st century.” 1

  1. Excerpt from “2001-2088. A short history of the WWW era”, China-Germany Border press, 2122