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ICT-related transformations in Latin American metropolises
The use and application of ICT within and between cities is resulting in significant urban transformations, making cities more connected as well as more complex. A sub-discipline of urban studies - urban ICT studies - has recently emerged to explore, analyse and theorise how the technological advances are transforming urban forms, urban processes and the perceptions of urban life. ICT-related transformations in cities of the developing world, however, have not received enough academic attention until now. This book makes a contribution to the field of urban ICT studies in cities of the South, by exploring the ICT-related transformations in the Latin American urban scene.
Based on Gabriel Dupuy’s notion of ‘urbanism of networks’, this explorative research identifies and analyses the recent transformations at three levels: the ICT infrastructure networks, the networks of production and consumption of ICTs in the local urban economy, and the diffusion of digital connectivity in everyday life. The book also presents the situation of digital connectivity in Buenos Aires and Lima, selected as case-studies because singular ICT-related processes are occurring in these two large metropolises. Besides from identifying the urban main trends at the different levels, the results have been also useful to spell out the main trends regarding urban functioning and the urban form, as well as the new problems and new opportunities that the introduction and development of ICTs bring to Latin American cities.
The main findings point out that Latin American metropolises have great assets at the infrastructural level as main nodes of the ICT backbones infrastructures. However, there is a profound contradiction between the ICT-related developments occurring in the urban economies, and the social and cultural life of the cities. The low performance of the Latin American metropolises regarding their integration in the global economy and the production of science and technology are in stark contrast with the eagerness of Latin Americans to be connected and to be able to participate as citizens in the network society. These contradiction constitute the largest problem of the future of the metropolises.
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