The Relationship of Sustainability to Telecommunications
Although telecommunications networks are central to modern urban life, scholars and policymakers have largely ignored the relationship of sustainability to telecommunications. Telecommunications can affect sustainability as a result of the complex, indirect effects that changes in telecommunications systems have on mobility, land use, locational decisions and energy consumption. During the past quarter-century, the construction of new telecommunications networks for communications across national borders, within metropolitan neighborhoods, and inside buildings, has transformed the way in which we use information. This article explores ways in which telecommunications has allowed for great strides towards a more sustainable urban ecology by making buildings more efficient, shifting reliance from roads to fibers and transforming government, economic development, transportation and disaster preparedness.