Current Project

Expanding Public Spaces

Smart City’s Empirical Research in São Paulo and Berlin [1] 

Recent studies have demonstrated that urbanization does not create ways of life but instead offers support for the possibilities of specific models that satisfy the expectations of public life. However, these models have not yet been investigated or analyzed in detail. Under these conditions, this research evaluates the digital environment as part of a complex visual culture, which implies current ethical, social, and political values toward sustainable public spaces. In this context, the environment of arts’ interplay and the principle of utopia as a critique of sustainable environments’ intentionality, which determines possibilities, will be addressed through imagined and utopian models becoming reality. The hypothesis of this research applies to the possibilities of digital connection and interactivity with urban and natural environments as innovative and sustainable infrastructure. This hypothesis will be verified following two determinants. The first is the adopted environment spatial models toward industry 4.0. The second is the transformative structure through new media, creating realities, intelligent environments, and interactive communities. Therefore, the core question is: Would the basis of a smart city be in the interactive communicational structure; in the capacity of human communities to cooperate intellectually, ethically, and democratically; or in the capacity of artificial intelligence as a solution to complex human problems toward the fourth industrial revolution?  Methodologically, an interdisciplinary approach in the arts, humanities, and social sciences related to digital practices is addressed. The aim is to investigate paradigms involving the effects of new technologies associated with different cultures and interpretations. Hence, this approach analyzes the urban and natural environments, restructuring the fragmented values of nature and culture’s differences and similarities in global cities like Berlin and São Paulo. The expectations for social solutions are seen as the main challenge of an intelligent environment made possible via information and communication technologies aiming at sustainable development goals.


  1. In 2022, this research project was presented to integrate the USP Global Cities Program at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo, where it was accepted in March 2023 for development after evaluation by the university’s scientific program committee. The goal is to promote research, advance scientific and technological progress, and establish international networks (e.g., connecting Brazilian and German researchers). The implementation of this project targets the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development following the Charter of the United Nations. That includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a focus on the 11th goal of sustainable cities and communities, aiming for sustainability in urban public spaces under the supervision of Dr. Fraya Frehse.