Edited by Tim Schwanen and Ronald van Kempen
Chapter 20: Urban informatics and e-governance
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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