UCL Urban Laboratory


Augmented Cities – Where did the night go?

21 April 2020–23 April 2020, 5:00 pm–5:00 pm

NITE background image

Following the launch of the transnational NITE research project at UCL last year, Humboldt-Universität invites you to our second online conference, focusing on technology, work and the transformation of the urban night in digital times.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Humboldt-Universität, Berlin


17:00 BST
18:00 CEST

New technologies and business models are increasingly blurring the boundaries between daytime and nighttime. Digital technology is transforming the city and with it the urban public space, which also means a transformation of the night. Our question is: Where did the night go? Cities are getting brighter and brighter thanks to computerized LED lighting systems. IT services are often outsourced across the globe leading to a re-territorialization of temporalities and global inequalities of work and time. The Internet and smartphone apps enable work activities to be outsourced to urban spaces at night. This is particularly evident in the example of the many platform workers, who are often migrants, often mobile day and night, controlled by smartphone apps that shape nocturnal urban space. The growing ubiquity of platform-based services, be it in the field of food delivery (Lieferando), housing (Airbnb), mobility (car sharing and escooter companies) or so-called crowdwork, have long been a part of everyday life in cities like Berlin.

This is the second conference linked to a three-year transdisciplinary European research project “Night spaces: migration, culture and integration in Europe (NITE)”, funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area program, exploring nocturnal public spaces in eight European cities (Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cork, Galway, Lisbon, London, Rotterdam). 

The keynote address on the first day of the conference will be given by Professor Saskia Sassen (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose), one of the most influential sociologists of our time. Sassen, who coined the term “global city”, will talk about urban technologies. Other conference highlighted include a talk on Berlin 365/24 and the selectivity of 24/7 by Professor Dietrich Henckel (Technical University Berlin), as well as panels exploring urban development and the 24h city, designing diverse cities at night, migration, cultural expressions and narratives of the night, nightlife in the augmented city, and platform labour and the end of sleep.

To register for free, send an email with the subject ‘Registration’ to: augmented-cities.2021@hu-berlin.de

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