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Communicative Cities in the 21st Century

The Urban Communication Reader III

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Edited By Matthew D. Matsaganis, Victoria J. Gallagher and Susan J. Drucker

This book explores the concept of the «communicative city», developed initially by participants in an international Urban Communication Foundation initiative, by bringing together scholars from across the communication arts and sciences seeking to enhance our understanding of the dynamic relationship between urban residents and their social, physical, mediated, and built environments. The chapters are arranged in categories that speak to two larger themes: first, they all speak to at least one aspect of the qualifying and/or disqualifying characteristics of a communicative city. A second, larger theme is what we might refer to as a master trope of the urban experience and, indeed, of urban communication: inside/outside. The research presented here represents social scientific and humanistic approaches to communication, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and positivist/normative and interpretive orientations, thereby providing a deeper understanding of the multi-level phenomena that unfold in urban communities.
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4 Understanding Urban Foodways and Communicative Cities: A Taste of Hong Kong’s Yumcha Culture as Urban Communication

Yumcha and Dimsum: A Primer

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CHAPTER FOUR

Understanding Urban Foodways and Communicative Cities

A Taste of Hong Kong’s Yumcha Culture as Urban Communication

Casey Man Kong Lum

The study of the communicative characteristics of cities that are conducive to robust human interaction of all kinds has in recent years attracted increasing attention from scholars in urban communication, an interdisciplinary field of study of human communication patterns in urban environments. In the summer of 2007, as noted in the introductory chapter to this book, the Urban Communication Foundation organized two meetings in Paris and Washington, DC, respectively, in which the participants were asked to discuss the defining features of cities that engender or discourage human communication. Findings from the two meetings and several related studies were subsequently reported in a special issue in The International Communication Gazette (Gumpert & Druckers, 2008). However, the majority of the discussions to date has tended to focus on human communication in outdoor public places such as parks and city squares, on the role of new electronic communications such as the uses and regulations of wireless and mobile technologies in giving rise to new forms of human interaction, and on the rhetorical or symbolic ramifications of public displays of art, objects, and signs. Relatively little attention is focused on understanding urban communication in indoor environments.

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