Telecity: A Theoretical Analysis
The previous chapters argued that our societies are facing a fundamental transformation process caused by new information technologies. New activities characterized by remote interactivity have emerged. These teleactivities enjoy an increasing rate of adoption and have direct impact on the quality of urban life as the telecity concept is emerging.
In this chapter the impact of new information technologies on social transformation -- therefore on city form and structure -- is examined through the analysis of three perspectives about city form: the physicalist, the urban economist, the sociologist. 1
The physicalist perspective tends to minimize the significance of social relations, and concentrate on the physical elements of the city. Urban elements such as schools, hospitals, and public spaces shape urban life. The main conviction of the physicalist claims that human beings are strongly affected by the physical features of their environment. It is the process of manifesting social structures into symbolic expressions.
The economist perspective perceives the city as a practical machine. It emphasizes efficiency, the close support of activities, good access, and easy repair or remodeling. Activities are located according to their relative cost of reaching labor, materials, markets, and services ( Wingo 1961; Alonso 1964; Muth 1969).