The materiality of networked cities
Stephen Graham, in his essay entitled "Strategies for Networked Cities" has some very convincing arguments against supporters of "ICT-based end of city visions" who ignore the very material realities that make the supposedly “virtual” realms of “cyberspace” possible:
"in their obsession with the ethereal worlds of cyberspace – with the blizzards of electrons, photons, and bits and bytes on screens – end of city commentators have consistently ignored the fact that it is real wires, real fibers, real ducts, real leeways, real satellite stations, real mobile towers, real web servers, and – not to be ignored – real electricity systems that make all of this possible. All these are physically embedded and located in real places. They are expensive. They are profoundly material. (...) Because the material bases for cyberspace are usually invisible they tend only to be noticed when they collapse or fail through wars, terrorist attack, natural disasters, or technical failure."
Why do I blog this? some good points there to keep in mind when designing ubiquitous computing applications (which need electricity, access to a network, etc.), material to be quoted in presentations to come.