How Telecommunications is Shaping Urban Spaces
All too often, telecommunications systems are treated as an alternative to transportation systems, as a substitute for the physical movement of people and services. The growing use of telecommunications systems is doing far more than influence where people work and live, but is actually changing the character of activities that occur in the home, workplace, and automobile. This chapter examines the way in which information and telecommunications are transforming everyday urban life; making the home into an extension of the office, shopping mall, and classroom; allowing the automobile and airplane to become workplaces; and converting the office building into a hub for social interaction and interpersonal contact. The diffusion of information technologies drastically increases the complexity of cities by increasing the number and type of interactions among individuals, firms, technical systems and the external environment. Information systems are permitting new combinations of people, equipment, and places; as a result, there is a dramatic change in the spatial organization of activities within cities and large metropolitan regions.