The Centripetal City: Telecommunications, the Internet, and the Shaping of the Modern Urban Environment

In “The Centripetal City: Telecommunications, the Internet, and the Shaping of the Modern Urban Environment,” published in Cabinet Magazine 17, Spring 2004/2005 I explore the symbiotic relationship between telecommunications and cities. The telephone and telegraph both concentrate and disperse the modern metropolis, creating both downtown and suburb. But if Internet gurus subscribe to an ideology of deconcentration and distribution of networks, the reality is that the Internet is built on the foundations of the telephone system. As a result, as I conclude, the Internet is centralized and vulnerable to catastrophic collapse.
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