Thursday, November 01, 2012

Modern times

Just when I was going to cancel my subscription to The Economist, they come up with "A sense of place ... Geography matters as much as ever, despite the digital revolution ..."  There is no "death of distance" (and no "end of history").

All of us form many networks.  Some of them are digital while some are maintained by face-to-face contact -- whether we walk, drive, fly to maintain them.  The internet and the cities are complements, not substitutes.  What is new is the speed at which we adjust our uses of networks in repsonse to the new opportunities.  We get around cities better and faster with an array of apps at hand.

With speed of network adjustment (and flexibilty and openness) more germane than ever, is it time to re-consider  "smart growth", "new urbanism", "compact development", "transit-oriented development", etc.?  Flexible land markets are critical. It is a bad time to nurse sunk intellectual capital.

Speaking of complements and substitutes, today's WSJ includes "After Sandy, Wired New Yorkers Get Reconnected with Pay Phones."


Facilitating help networks.