This is an excerpt from a chapter in the book "Sentient City Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space" edited by Mark Shepard.
"[T]he debate about the Sentient City can be understood as a dispute concerning the urban public sphere. On the one hand, the rise of sentient technologies is said to contribute to the (already on-going) demise of urban public spaces such as town squares, multifunctional streets and public parks. On the other hand, there is a hope that those same sentient technologies could enable new forms of publicness and exchange. These are no longer based on bringing people with different backgrounds and opinions spatially together (as in coffeehouses or town squares), but on the organization of publics around particular issues of concern."