[Urban Intervention Without Urban Mindset]
In many of the new innovations, we see destruction accompanied, and the society stumbled adopting them. The popular Chinese taxi-hailing smartphone app: Didi Dache (滴滴打车), for example, reshaped the behavior of people traveling in the city throughout China. User can requests a cab anytime anywhere in the city, and wait for nearby taxi drivers to “grab” the order. One can even add extra tips to attract drivers while in unfavorable conditions such as peak hour or distant pick-up spot. However, just because it’s that convenient, the drivers became reluctant to pick up people who were not using the app or people didn't pay extra, and the service squeezed out customers who aren't fluent in mandarin (you have to recognize Chinese characters to use the app or voice-message to drivers in Mandarin). It caused uneven service distribution, and became so troublesome that the government needed to forbid using the tipping service during peak time in workdays and holidays.
This made I recall Dan Hill’s recent essay: Urban Parasites, Data-Driven Urbanism, and the Case of Architecture [X] and his comment on such notion as “city as public good” was absent in the thinking of many disruptive social innovations. He elaborated cases like Kickstarter and Uber, for the former dictates which project, may it be an urban project (e.g.: the Plus Pool in New York) is to be built; and the latter tried to dodge from local union, taxation, and legal regulations every markets they entered. The pure business thinking behind most of the innovations we nowadays encountered often stands in the way of our pursuing for a better and fairer public realm. Such outcomes result from the lack of proper urban mindsets definitely worth of our attention, not to mention those already impacted our infrastructure system, streetscape, and urban environments.