New technologies both permeate urban spaces (changing their uses) and change the way we look at buildings and place (changing development). The recent Breaking the Game conference explored the ways in which technology is transforming urbanity, or, as they put it "overclocking the city":
"[A]n emerging group of artists [is] deploying sensors, hand-held electronics, and faster Internet connections are developing projects that actively intervene in the shaping and reshaping of public spaces in contemporary cities. They are integrating digital technology into buildings in order to make them adaptive and responsive to the flows of human activity and environmental forces... They are scanning the unseen electromagnetic spectrum that surrounds specific places, and turning these data into compelling audio/visual experiences that both heighten and change our perception... Using PDAs and portable laptops connected wirelessly to databases, some artists are creating alternative social maps, counter-histories and individually annotated narratives about local populations in specific neighborhoods... Still others are using mobile social software to coordinate large numbers of bodies for political action; or devising playful and imaginary spaces within the city.... We don't have to leave or disconnect from physical space in order to connect to digital spaces. Artists, architects, technologists, urban planners, and others are recombining the two, connecting individuals and groups together at a variety of scales and intensities."
Many of the presentations were virtual and/or recorded: you can access them here. On an urban planet tackling the big problems is going to take rethinking cities. These folks are at the forefront of creating the tools to do that.