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Barney Warf

Information technologies play a central role in the reconstruction of urban space. The ability to acquire, process, and transmit vast quantities of information has become central to urban competitiveness and individual social mobility. Given the digital divide, particularly in the US, access to the Internet has often worked against the poor, the elderly, and the politically disadvantaged as much as for them. The chapter examines the role of information technologies in urban governance from several angles. First it documents the digital divide empirically and summarizes major conceptual approaches. It then shifts to examine the roles of public schools, wireless Internet access, and telework. The third part focuses on electronic governance, or e-governance, the delivery of services over Internet. Finally, it turns to the impacts of Web 2.0, or interactive websites, which are having significant impacts on urban planning, allowing citizens more input and using information technologies toward their own ends.

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Barney Warf

This chapter offers an overview of technology, rebuts the common myth of technological determinism and summarizes each of the forthcoming chapters.

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Barney Warf

Fiber optics – by far the most important telecommunications medium in the world – form the core technology that underpins the internet as well as electronic funds transfer systems. This chapter summarizes the history of fiber optics and situates it within the contemporary information-intensive global economy. It examines the urban implications of fiber, and maps the world’s major systems that emerged over the last three decades. Finally, the chapter turns to some of the impacts of the massive global boom in fiber capacity, including the dot-com crash, excess capacity and the steady erosion of the satellite industry.

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Barney Warf

Satellites have had a series of economic, military and discursive implications. This chapter defines the oft-confused terms concerning satellites and Earth stations, then turns to the history of the technology. Much of the chapter is concerned with the international regulation of geostationary satellites, a story that traces the rise and demise of the International Satellite Organization (Intelsat) and several regional competitors. As neoliberalism has reshaped telecommunications, like everything else, Intelsat’s power has eroded, and private satellite operations have risen in importance. Finally, it notes the powerful impacts of fiber optics on the satellite industry and the hopes presented by low-orbiting satellites that service the world’s mobile phones.

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Barney Warf

The biotechnology industry concerns the molecular and genetic modification of living organisms. The chapter traces its history, from beer making to cloning. Next it turns to its impacts, including the contentious issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), perhaps biotech’s most famous product, as well as biofuels and uses in manufacturing and health care (e.g. gene therapy). Third it examines the regulatory impacts at the global, national and local scales. The fourth part unearths the economic geography of biotech districts, the life sciences’ equivalent of new industrial spaces.

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Edited by Barney Warf

This Handbook offers an insightful and comprehensive overview from a geographic perspective of the numerous and varied technologies that are shaping the contemporary world. It shows how geography and technology are intimately linked by examining the origins, growth, and impacts of 27 different technologies and highlighting how they influence the structure and spatiality of society.
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Barney Warf

In many parts of the world, technologically sophisticated smart cities have been at the forefront of the deployment of digital information and communications technologies, including smart energy grids, transport systems, renewable energy, and smart homes. The rapid economic growth and social transformation of many East Asian societies has given rise to a series of smart cities that are globalized, internet-connected, and that have changed urban governance and daily life in numerous ways. This chapter examines three East Asian smart cities, Seoul, Singapore, and Shanghai, noting how each aspired to smart city status in different ways. In each, information technologies have facilitated the implementation of electronic government (e-government), improved commercial ties, improved energy use and environmental quality, and enhanced the quality of life.

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Edited by Barney Warf

The Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption offers a comprehensive overview of how corruption varies across the globe. It explores the immense range of corruption among countries, and how this reflects levels of wealth, the centralization of power, colonial legacies, and different national cultures. Barney Warf presents an original and interdisciplinary collection of chapters from established researchers and leading academics that examine corruption from a spatial perspective.
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Barney Warf

The Introduction outlines the nature and purpose of the volume, offers a brief summary of the nature of corruption as well as its causes and consequences, and sketches the layout of the volume, including brief summaries of each chapter.

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Barney Warf

This chapter offers an overview of regional geographies of corruption around the world. It examines global patterns using Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, and proceeds to summarize corruption in Europe, the Middle East/North Africa, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, using maps of each. The point of this survey is to demonstrate that there is no “one-size-fits-all” model of corruption; rather, it must be understood within widely varying economic, political, and cultural contexts.