The global digital network is not just a delivery system for email, Web pages, and digital television. It is a whole new urban infrastructure—one that will change the forms of our cities as dramatically as railroads, highways, electric power supply, and telephone networks did in the past.
Picking up where his best-selling City of Bits left off, Mitchell argues that we must extend the definitions of architecture and urban design to encompass virtual places as well as physical ones, and interconnection by means of telecommunication links as well as by pedestrian circulation and mechanized transportation systems. He proposes strategies for the creation of cities that not only will be sustainable but will make economic, social, and cultural sense in an electronically interconnected and global world. The new settlement patterns of the twenty-first century will be characterized by live/work dwellings, 24-hour pedestrian-scale neighborhoods rich in social relationships, and vigorous local community life, complemented by far-flung configurations of electronic meeting places and decentralized production, marketing, and distribution systems. Neither digiphile nor digiphobe, Mitchell advocates the creation of e-topias—cities that work smarter, not harder.
About the Author
William J. Mitchell was the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences and directed the Smart Cities research group at MIT's Media Lab. He authored many books, including The World's Greatest Architect (2008) and Placing Words: Symbols, Space, and the City (2005), both published by the MIT Press.
"Few people understand the challenges and opportunities of emerging networksociety better than William J. Mitchell. A visionary with a program,Mitchell not only points us toward a new future but also shows us how toget there. Anyone interested in the shape of life in the 21st centuryshould read this book."
—Mark C. Taylor, Director of the Center for Technology in the Arts and Humanities, Williams College
"Mitchell has done it again! This dazzling survey of the cyberfuture andits impact on urban life shows that he is still the world's foremostauthority on the subject."
—Sir Peter Hall, Bartlett Professor of Planning, University College London