Life in the Real-Time City: Mobile Telephones and Urban Metabolism
Anthony M. Townsend
Taub Urban Research Center
New York University
While in the
past five years the Internet and World Wide Web have received a
great deal of attention from the media and scholars alike, other
telecommunications technologies have rapidly diffused in this period
as well. Mobile telephones have been rapidly accepted throughout
the urban world, particularly in countries with far lower levels
of Internet use.
telephones are sold as a technology that helps conquer constraints
of location and geography, it is increasingly apparent that the
time-management capabilities of this new tool are equally important.
As a result,
the widespread use of these devices is quickening of the pace of
urban life and at an aggregate level, resulting in a dramatic increase
in the metabolism of urban systems. This quickening metabolism is
directly tied to the widespread formation of new decentralized information
networks facilitated by this new technology. As a result, new paradigms
for understanding the city and city planning in a decentralized
context are discussed.
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(C) 1999, 2000, 2001 Taub Urban Research Center, New York University