Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor John Goddard OBE,
Professor Andrew Gillespie,
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This paper discusses the revolutionary nature of information technology which affects the what, where and how of the production and delivery of goods and services. It suggests that it is virtually impossible to come to any quantitative assessment of the nature and timing of the impact of these technological changes on individual cities. What is more important is to assess the capacity of cities to respond to the challenge of new information technology. The extent to which they are able to adapt to this challenge will be deeply conditioned by their infrastructure, industrial, commercial and institutional capacity. Areas which lack the necessary telecommunications networks, innovative enterprises and public and private agencies well attuned to the new technology will lag behind in the race to take advantages of the opportunities. Drawing on a major research project undertaken for the European Commission the paper assesses the major components of the environment necessary to participate in the information technology revolution. It reviews developments in telecommunications networks, switching and services and uptake of services within the regions of Europe. The analysis suggests that not withstanding the distance shrinking potential of telecommunications, the incremental process of network modernization coupled with the high levels of demand in major centres is likely to result in a continuing reinforcement of existing locations rather than any significant dispersal of economic activity. The paper goes on to review the impact of information technology within manufacturing and service companies; this suggests that there are few indications that new technologies will reverse present location tendencies. The paper concludes, nevertheless, that there is an urgent need to promote the widespread geographical diffusion of new information technology and in this respect urban and regional policies have an important role to play.
Author(s): Goddard JB, Gillespie AE, Thwaites AT, Robinson JF
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Land Development Studies
Print publication date: 01/01/1986
ISSN (print): 0264-0821
ISSN (electronic): 1466-4453
Notes: First presented at the ‘Landtronics’ Conference in London, June 1985.
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