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Surveillance in Urban Nightscapes

Surveillance in Urban Nightscapes.

The socio-spatial effects of video-surveillance in urban nightlife districts

Research project financed by the NWO program Societal Responsible Innovation. Coordinator dr. Irina van Aalst. Department Social Geography, University of Utrecht.

The multidisciplinary research team consist of drs. Tjerk Timan (PhD student at STePs; UT); drs. Jelle Brands (PhD student Dept Social Geography, University of Utrecht; postdoc (vacancy; UU); and four senior researchers for supervision, coordination and co-authoring of publications (dr. Irina van Aalst (UU); prof.dr. Martin Dijst (UU); prof.dr Nelly Oudshoorn (UT); and dr.Tim Schwanen (UU). The project runs from October 2009-Oct 2013.

The emergence of video-surveillance technologies asks for a fundamental, critical reflection on what is called the ‘surveillance society’. The introduction of these novel technologies has major societal and ethical consequences for citizens. Although surveillance technologies promise to promote public safety for everybody, current practices of use suggest that closed-circuit television (CCTV) may produce socially exclusive spaces. Based on empirical studies, this research project aims to generate recommendations about how video surveillance’s potential to produce socially inclusive and heterogeneous spaces in and around nightlife districts can be maximized. This research is a collaborative project between the University of Twente and Utrecht University.

Link to SUN/Stadsnachtwacht.