From the City of Bits to e-Topia: Taking the Thesis on Digitally-inclusive Regeneration Platforms of Information Society Full Circle

By Mark Deakin and Sam Allwinkle.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Mitchell’s book on the City of Bits, sets out a vision of urban life literally done to bits, left fragmented and in danger of coming unstuck. His next book e-topia, provides the counter-point to this vision of urban life and scenario where the city is no longer left in bits and pieces, but a place where it ‘all comes together’. As Mitchell states in his more recent book: Me++: the Cyborg Self and the Networked City, all this ‘coming together’ becomes possible because the trial separation of bits and atoms is now over and the dissolution of the boundaries between the virtual and physical now makes everything worth playing for.

The landscape this paper uncovers is different for it uncovers the middle ground between the ‘high-level’ issues surrounding e-topia and those lying at the ‘grass roots’ level of me ++ the cyborg-self . For it is here with the likes of Baudrillard, Laclau and Mouffe and Zizek, that questions about what the ‘city of bits’ and ‘e-topia’ of ‘me++: the cyborg self’ mean get ‘bottomed out’ and surface as the ‘agonistics’ which surround the all too human discourse on digitally-inclusive regeneration platforms. Approaching the thesis in this way makes it possible to run vertically, digging deep into the planning and sustainable development of cities and use this as the basis to move horizontally and be constructive in drawing upon ICTs as a means to build platforms capable of being digitally-inclusive. This takes the thesis on digitally-inclusive regeneration platforms full circle by offering information society a bundle of services that not only have the institutional depth which is needed for the multi-scalar resizing of communities to be constructive, but the strength also required for them to build bridges capable of spanning the spaces previously divided, left fragmented and in danger of coming unstuck.

Keywords: City of Bits, e-Topia, Information Society, Digital Inclusion, Regeneration

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.113-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.169MB).

Prof. Mark Deakin

Director of Centre for Learning Communities, Napier University, Edinburgh, Lothian, UK

Sam Allwinkle

Director, Academic Development, Edinburgh, Lothian, UK


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