chapter  1
10 Pages


Research using structuration theory is widespread and has addressed information and communication technologies (ICT) and their impact. The concept of general-purpose technologies (GPT) emerged in the 1980s as a way to understand economic growth. Carey and Quirk (1970) described how the myth of the electrical sublime would convince us that electronic technologies could overcome distance and rejuvenate community and politics. Webber's (1964) proposition that urban sociability and interaction relied more on technologies of communication than on spatial propinquity regulated by urban form was a radical idea, and its full implications were not fully evident until the Internet blanketed metropolitan areas. The idea that one can have the benefits of an advanced urban industrial society without the costs has flowered on American soil for more than two centuries. The Romans organized urban space so that important buildings like temples and coliseums would visibly convey the importance of Roman social order.