How can interactive and responsive media objects and platforms increase the sense of place and the quality of public spaces? That question is addressed in the context of the Arena Boulevard in Amsterdam. This shopping boulevard near the main stadium and concert venues in Amsterdam has a number of specific characteristics. It is designed to accommodate large crowds during events. However in off-peak periods, many users find it an inhospitable place, that for some even feels unsafe.

The Lectorate of Play & Civic Media is interested in the usage of interactive and responsive media as digital placemaking tools. What design aspects could enhance the quality of public spaces?

The project has a research through design-approach. After a mapping of current uses and experiences of the Arena BLVD, a coalition of researchers, local stakeholders and interactive design offices and offices for spatial planning and architecture will design a number of prototypes that will be tested on site.

The project started in the fall of 2016. The contribution of the Lectorate of Play & Civic Media so far has consisted of running a number of design studios in the education programme of Communication and Multimedia Design. From 2017 on we will play a role in the design process and evaluation of the prototypes.