Cyberdemocracy: Technology, Cities, and Civic Networks

By Roza Tsagarousianou; Damian Tambini et al. | Go to book overview

8

Manchester

Democratic implications of an economic initiative?

Cathy Bryan


INTRODUCTION

There are currently a number of local authorities throughout the UK which are using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to supply information to and receive it from citizens and which, to varying degrees, embody the principles of the civic networking movement. The first attempt in the UK to bring this technology within the control of a city-wide, publicly initiated project took place in Manchester. This chapter sets out to examine the origins of Manchester City Council’s (MCC’s) Information City initiative and the factors which have influenced the direction it has taken since inception.


BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF THE MANCHESTER HOST

In the UK, debates regarding the civic uses of ICTs have historically been confined to urban studies and local government departments, and this approach has focused on the viability of the city in the face of a set of economic changes such as industrial decline and ecological deterioration. This set of issues has been identified as one of the major problems facing local government in the 1990s (O’Connel and O’Tuama, 1995). A number of academics have sought to address these problems within the locus of the development and use of ICTs at the city level (Bellamy and Taylor, 1994; Castells, 1989). Manchester City Council drew heavily upon these models of urban regeneration and built its plans for the Information City initiative upon the premiss that new information and communications technologies

are playing an increasingly important role…in providing the dynamic for the emerging ‘information economy’, or ‘information society’ where multimedia based teleservices…and teleworking

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Cyberdemocracy: Technology, Cities, and Civic Networks
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Acknowledgements ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • 1 - Electronic Democracy and the Civic Networking Movement in Context 1
  • 2 - Virtually Going Places 18
  • 3 - Back to the Future of Democracy? 41
  • 4 - Berlin in the Net 60
  • References 82
  • 5 - Civic Networking and Universal Rights to Connectivity: Bologna 84
  • 6 - An Internet Resource for Neighbourhoods 110
  • 7 - The First Amendment Online 125
  • Notes 149
  • 8 - Manchester 152
  • 9 - Electronic Democracy and the Public Sphere 167
  • Index 179
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