Thursday, June 23, 2005

Hanging around outside Tube stations

Very interesting article from the ever-relevant telecoms-cities mailing list...
from the International Herald Tribune, an account of a research project to look at how users of mobile phones in Madrid, London and Paris use their phones in public spaces. The study was conducted by a Spanish sociologist, Amparo Lasén, for the Digital World Research Center at the University of Surrey. One particularly interesting finding was how mobile phone users in London cluster together in confined spaces when using mobile phones-- often opposite the entrance to an Underground station* or somewhere similar that people don't normally stand. The reason being that Londoners tend to walk away to speak on the phone. Of course now people don't use Underground stations as meeting places as much (unverified assumption!) because they use their phones as the colocation mechanism. I was going to write my MSc dissertation on something like this but never quite got it together! oh well.

It's a good illustration of how the use of public space is and will change due to use of phones (and other mobile devices)-- previously unused space becoming usable. Now if only architects would build in Lean Backs on the sides of buildings...

*I bet the researcher wasn't observing Camden Town tube.


Blogger Amparo said...

You are right, it wasn't Camden Tube, but Oxford Circus and other tube exists such as Oval where I lived when I was in London

12:17 p.m.  

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