Urban Artefacts and Their Social Roles: Towards an Ontology of Social Practices

Authors Alessia Calafiore, Guido Boella, Stefano Borgo, Nicola Guarino

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Alessia Calafiore
Guido Boella
Stefano Borgo
Nicola Guarino

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Alessia Calafiore, Guido Boella, Stefano Borgo, and Nicola Guarino. Urban Artefacts and Their Social Roles: Towards an Ontology of Social Practices. In 13th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 86, pp. 6:1-6:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


Cities can be seen as systems of urban artefacts interacting with human activities. Since cities in this sense need to be organized and coordinated, convergences and divergences between the "planned" and the "lived" city have always been of paramount interest in urban planning. The increasing amount of geo big data and the growing impact of Internet of Things (IoT) in contemporary smart city is pushing toward a re-conceptualization of urban systems taking into consideration the complexity of human behaviors. This work contributes to this view by proposing an ontological analysis of urban artefacts and their roles, focusing in particular on the difference between social roles and functional roles through the prism of social practices.
  • urban artefact
  • ontology
  • social practice
  • urban planning


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