Optimism and Pessimism in Future Planning
Urban impacts tend to enter indirectly, through the back door, via discussions of the impacts of technological change on urban society; the evolution of urban form is treated as the spatial expression of changes in that society. The new conventional wisdom argues that the only effective long-term adaptive strategy is to exploit the information revolution by developing high-technology manufacturing and producer services, in which the information-rich advanced countries have a natural competitive advantage. But this tends to aid only certain sections of the labour force, in certain socio-economic groups and in certain geographical locations; and these are generally opposite to those experiencing mass unemployment due to the decline of the older sectors. All this is inevitable, and with the best will in the world government can make only a limited difference, at least in the short run.