Executive Summary

Problem Description

Present State of Knowledge

Approach and Method

Modeling and Measuring the Information City

Information and Household Mobility in Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Telecommunications, Infrastructure, and the Environment

Information and Telecommunications Technology and Inner-City Communities

Broader Impacts

Dissemination of Research




Broader Impacts

There is no greater challenge facing urban research than to understand the way in which information and telecommunications technologies are transforming the cities and metropolitan regions where people live and work. This project, by bringing together experts from social science, computer science, environmental science, and engineering, will provide a new perspective on the future of urban environments that can inform research and policy in the next century.

Unlike previous eras of urban growth when a specific innovation, such as the automobile or electric power, drove urban development, the development of information and telecommunication technologies is being driven by the actions of numerous individuals and firms inventing new ways of using information in all aspects of urban life. This project will fill a major gap in the study of urban regions while also generating ideas and information that will encourage research in a multiplicity of disciplines.

There are three distinctive aspects to this project that contribute to its potential impact on urban scholarship and policy:

  • First, the scope of the project is future-oriented. We will contribute to and expand the body of knowledge concerning a subject, information technology and urban development, that will become even more important in the future.

  • Second, the proposed research is intrinsically linked to several disciplines, and therefore, the opportunity for influencing future researchers is greater than if the research were confined to a single discipline or problem.

  • Third, our team of researchers has a proven record at disseminating its research to a national audience, which includes public policymakers, through print media, electronic media, and in-person forums. The dissemination of the results generated during this study will be an ongoing activity directed by the principal investigator, not relegated to the end of the project.

For all these reasons, the future-oriented scope, the interdisciplinary collaboration, and the explicit attention given to dissemination, this project should make a long-term contribution to the entire community of scholars and public policymakers concerned with urban environments.


With support from the National Science Foundation, under the Urban Research Initiative
(C) 1999, 2000, 2001 Taub Urban Research Center, New York University
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