About Our Project

The economic future of our cities will be defined by their capacity to generate, process, and distribute information. With the emergence of the Internet, the diffusion of personal computers and the advent of telecommunications deregulation, cities face unprecedented requirements to compete as centers of economic activity, culture, and civic activity.

Urban Researchers must understand and explain the way in which information and telecommunications technologies are transforming the cities and metropolitan areas where people live and work. This project will establish a new conceptual framework in which to study and analyze these patterns of urban change.




Cities as Information Centers: Terrorism, Technology and the Future
A presentation by Mitchell Moss and Anthony Townsend to the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University.


Mobile Computing and Communications: New Interactions Between Infromation Architecture and Infrastructure Use

Working paper for the Workshop on Bringin Information Technology to Infrastructure
Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems
Washington, DC
June 25-27, 2001


Information and the Urban Future: Proceedings
A Taub Urban Research Center Workshop
February 26, 2001


The Science of Location: Why the Wireless Development Community Needs Geography, Urban Planning, and Architecture
by Anthony Townsend
February 2001
Position paper presented at CHI 2001, Seattle Washington, March 31-April 5



Our Project in the News


Check out our growing Photo Archive of information city urban landscapes...


Quotes About 'Information'

Herbert N. Casson, The History of the Telephone (1910)

"No invention has been more timely that the telephone. It arrived at the exact period when it was needed for the organization of great cities and the unification of nations."


Kevin Lynch, Pioneering Urban Planner
"The metropolitan region is now the functional unit of our environment, and it is desirable that this functional unit should be identified and structured by its inhabitants. The new means of communication which allow us to live and work in such a large interdependent region, could also allow us to make our images commensurate with our experiences." (K. Lynch, Image of the City, 1960, 112)


Steve Crocker, Early pioneer of ARPANET, the military precursor of the Internet:
"Early on, it had been decided to grow the network from the west. The ARPA research groups were not thrilled when they were notified that ARPA was going to build a network that would connect them to each other. They viewed themselves as self-sufficient. They did not need access to other sites, and they did not want outsiders intruding into their sites and consuming their resources. This resistance was stronger in the east than in the west. Some of the western sites actually looked forward to the idea of interconnection...."
In Initiating the ARPANET, Matrix News


PSINet Annual Report, 1999: "In May, we acquired dark fiber strands connecting the New York City and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas and cities in between. This corridor handles approximately 35 percent of the telecommunications traffic in the U.S and is a vital route connecting Internet traffic between the United States and Europe."


"City Living In A Dilemma: Boomtown With No Room" Pacific News Service, by Andrew Lam
"There's a price to pay for being in the center of the information age. Despite gridlocked freeways, longer commute times, greater air pollution, loss of open space, and, of course, urban sprawling and overcrowding, the young and hopeful continue to flock [to San Francisco]."


Heath Thompson, former aide to George W. Bush: "[Cell phones are] part of the culture now. I don't know how people ever got along without them. Information is the currency of politics. Without it, you're out of the loop."


Lloop, New York DJ: "The dance floor has become the live performance for the information age."


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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