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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262133555 | 192 pp. | 6 x 9 in | August 1999
Paperback | $19.95 Short | £13.95 | ISBN: 9780262632058 | 192 pp. | 6 x 9 in | August 2000
Ebook | $13.95 Trade | ISBN: 9780262291484 | 192 pp. | August 1999
About MIT Press Ebooks


Urban Life, Jim—But Not As We Know It


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. In this lucid, invigorating book, William J. Mitchell examines this new infrastructure and its implications for our future daily lives.

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.


“...e-topia is a good primer for anyone interested in how we are going to inhabit the digital era.”— Lawrence Chua, Bookforum
E-topia offers a brilliant and succinct lesson on how the evolution of information and other technologies has altered the way we build workplaces and communities, manage relationships, and supply our material wants and needs. It unobtrusively lays digital technology into historical and material context, rendering it this way as something not to fear.”—Randall Lyman, San Francisco Bay Guardian


“Mitchell has done it again! This dazzling survey of the cyberfuture and its impact on urban life shows that he is still the world's foremost authority on the subject.”
Sir Peter Hall, Bartlett Professor of Planning, University College London
“Few people understand the challenges and opportunities of emerging network society better than William J. Mitchell. A visionary with a program, Mitchell not only points us toward a new future but also shows us how to get there. Anyone interested in the shape of life in the 21st century should read this book.”
Mark C. Taylor, Director of the Center for Technology in the Arts and Humanities, Williams College