The exploration of the transformation of cities began with the recognition that we are now entering a world dominated, more than at any other time in our history, by the urban condition. Over half of the world’s population now live in cities. These cities are, however, diverse and increasingly so despite the forces of globalisation, seen by some analysts, to create conditions of growing similarity. The world of the global urban condition is one of paradoxes. At one level, there is the greater degree of interdependence flowing from a global information and economic system and access to a common set of cultural experiences through the power of the global media. At another level, there still persist strong local attachments and unique places where people fashion their sense of identity. Place thus does not disappear off the agenda as we move into the new millennium, it does, however, take on new attributes. The other paradox lies in the arguments about control. One view is that the new information systems and technologies provide a way of opening out opportunities to seek to acquire knowledge, of empowering people who can now access what information they want, when they want it, twenty-four hours a day, whereas others see these as new aspects of control.
KeywordsUrban Form Chicago School Urban Change Urban Project Urban Analysis
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