Telecommunications, cities and technological opportunism
The advent of telecommunications and the emergence of the 'information age` have given rise to great expectations regarding urban change. The paper examines the assumptions underlying the claims for change and distinguishes between processes which may alter the structure of the city and those which change the functions of cities. In the former, it examines the assumptions underlying the decentralization-concentration hypotheses, suggesting that there is no deterministic effect of telecommunications, and that the structure of cities is largely affected by the persistent need for physical transport. Telecommunications can be used by agents to exercise greater flexibility in location decisions. At the global scale, the emergence of the world cities is facilitated by telecommunications, but only few cities are likely to gain this status. The effects of telecommunications on urban form and function are mostly the result of opportunities seized by individual agents and not by deterministic or naive policy approaches.
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Volume (Year): 30 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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