Internet Geographer

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City of Loops

My colleagues, Rob, Shannon, Joe, and I recently put together a book of speculative fiction that tries to imagine what cities would be like if run by corporations.

Graham, M, Kitchin, R., Mattern, S., and Shaw, J. (eds). 2019. How to Run a City Like Amazon, and Other Fables. London: Meatspace Press.

Each of the 38 chapters in the book picks a different company and then envisions a world governed by it. As part of the exercise, I had the opportunity to write about Alphabet (Google’s parent company). The story plays with the idea that companies like Google/Alphabet control an important dimension of our cities: the augmented layers of information overlaid on top of them. But things then start to get weird once people realise that you can layer layers over those layers.

The book is free to download - so head over to meatspacepress.com if you’d like to read it or any of the other 37 stories.

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Mark Graham