On the technology-place front Keith Hampton alerts us to a new book from Stephen Graham, Professor of Urban Technology, University of Newcastle, UK. The Cybercities Reader looks as if it has anyone that's anyone in this field contributing a chapter....Philip Agre, Anne Beamish, Manuel Castells, Martin Dodge, Mark Gottdeiner, David Holmes, David Lyon, William Mitchell, Harvey Molotch, Saskia Sassen, and Nina Wakeford. Wouldn't it be great if they would chunk their chapters down into blog-size pieces.... I know I should get the book but would I read it? Will other non-academics? If not, how will these ideas get into circulation rapidly and usefully? As I wrote recently non-academic planners aren't usually well briefed in this field.
Maybe it's time to try again an approach we tested a few years back, when the RICS Foundation supported some scenario development with a group of professionals playing through the changes technology might bring to our towns and cities. We ran a workshop - reported here - but despite the enthusiastic support of the Foundation's chief executive David Fitzpatrick we didn't get a more substantial programme going. David has an unusual background as an early advocate of community technology and sustainable development, now influencing the suits at events like the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Nothing on technology in current Foundation research themes, that I could see though. Were we just too early in our scenario playing, or have built environment professionals decided it doesn't matter much anyway?
Update: David emails to say that he has left RICS Foundation and is off to new pastures. I'm sure it will be something interesting when (or at least after) he arrives.