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Cities in the real-time age: The paradigm challenge of telecommunications to the conception and planning of urban space

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen Graham


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In this paper I argue that contemporary processes of telecommunications-based urban development provide challenges to how urban space is conceptualised and planned within advanced industrial cities. The paper has four parts. First, I briefly review the loosely integrated body of research on city-telecommunications relations and highlight the tendency of much contemporary research to adopt futuristic metaphors for explaining such relations at a general level. In part two, the argument that the current explosion of telecommunications applications across all aspects of urban development challenges old urban paradigms, for understanding and planning urban space, is developed. Four challenges are identified and explored: the challenge of invisibility, the conceptual challenge, the challenge to urban planning, and the challenge of containment. Given this context, the third part of the paper builds on recent insights in cultural studies to explore the potential for new conceptual frameworks which help explain the new relations between telecommunications, time, space, and advanced industrial cities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Graham S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A

Year: 1997

Volume: 29

Issue: 1

Pages: 105-127

Print publication date: 01/01/1997

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Pion


DOI: 10.1068/a290105


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