chapter  16
8 Pages

Urban Information Systems and Society

ByM. Wegener

The objective of this chapter is to speculate on the Janus-faced character of the information age as it may affect the future city through urban planning and management information systems. Urban information systems of the future, if realised, might be of hitherto unconceived sophistication and comprehensiveness. They might not be novel, in the sense that they use special hardware or software that have been available in other fields of application or even in rudimentary form in many city administrations for quite some time. Their new quality would result from their immense potential to link, merge and combine data files formerly maintained independently and without co-ordination by different agencies or institutions. At the core of the rational position is the dream of rationality as the guiding principle in organising societal matters. Where the rational position held that 'information equals enlightenment', the critical position believes that 'information equals power and control'.