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Technology, time–space, and the remediation of neighbourhood life

January 31, 2009

Crang M, Crosbie T, Graham S, 2007, “Technology, time – space, and the remediation of neighbourhood life” Environment and Planning 39 (10) 2405 – 2422

Abstract. Much theoretical commentary over the last decade addressed the likely impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on urban life works by opposing ‘virtual’ spaces and mediated activities to ‘real’ places. Drawing on recent theorising in media studies about ‘remediation’, this paper attempts to move beyond a reliance on such unhelpful real – virtual conceptual binaries. The paper uses such conceptual discussions to consider more fully the multiple, subtle, and interdependent spatiotemporalities which together work to constitute ICT-based urban change. While innovative work has traced the emergence of various online spaces and communities, our interest here is on the intersection of online and offline practices. Through a case study of two contrasting neighbourhoods in Newcastle upon Tyne [UK], the paper explores in detail how social relations and grocery shopping are being affected by ICT use. It suggests that the remediation of everyday urban life through ICTs involves subtle shifts in the spatial, temporal, scalar, and material processes which together help to constitute urban change, and which are all too often overlooked in conventional and binary approaches opposing the ‘virtual’ realm of new technologies to ‘real’ urban places.

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