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Socio-technical Systems, Public Space and Urban Fragmentation: The Case of ‘Cybercafés’ in China


  • Gilles Puel
  • Valérie Fernandez


The geography of Internet access places is constructed by the interaction of the stakeholders, not only by the negotiation of local regulatory policies but also by the uses of these technologies. It differentiates urban space, contributes to urban fragmentation and the fragmentation into archipelagos of social groups, in a relationship which is not one-to-one. The new socio-technical practices of the city in interaction with infrastructures linked to mobility and accessibility produce urban forms which intensify social fragmentation. This work is based on field surveys conducted in China combining face-to-face questionnaires and in-depth interviews with operators (of cybercafés, local managers, etc.) and their users.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilles Puel & Valérie Fernandez, 2012. "Socio-technical Systems, Public Space and Urban Fragmentation: The Case of ‘Cybercafés’ in China," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(6), pages 1297-1313, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:49:y:2012:i:6:p:1297-1313

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