Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity

Paperback | December 24, 2012

byKaren Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, William Franko

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In an age when the United Nations has declared access to the Internet a human right, and universal access to high-speed broadband is a national goal, urban areas have been largely ignored by federal policy. The cost of that neglect may well be the failure to realize the social benefits ofbroadband and a broadly-connected digital society. Technology offers unparalleled advantages for innovation in urban areas - in the economy, health care, education, energy, transportation, government services, civic engagement, and more. With their density and networks of activity, cities hold the most potential for reaping the benefits oftechnology. But there are surprisingly substantial disparities in broadband adoption across cities. More puzzlingly, rather than promoting innovation or addressing the high cost of broadband access, the US has mostly funded expensive rural infrastructure in sparsely-populated areas. Digital Cities tells the story of information technology use and inequality in American metropolitan areas and discusses directions for change. The authors argue that mobile-only Internet, the form used by many minorities and urban poor, is a second-class form of access, as they offer evidence thatusers with such limited access have dramatically lower levels of online activity and skill. Digital citizenship and full participation in economic, social and political life requires home access. Using multilevel statistical models, the authors present new data ranking broadband access and use inthe nation's 50 largest cities and metropolitan areas, showing considerable variation across places. Unique, neighborhood data from Chicago examines the impact of poverty and segregation on access in a large and diverse city, and it parallels analysis of national patterns in urban, suburban andrural areas. Digital Cities demonstrate the significance of place for shaping our digital future and the need for policies that recognize the critical role of cities in addressing both social inequality and opportunity.

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In an age when the United Nations has declared access to the Internet a human right, and universal access to high-speed broadband is a national goal, urban areas have been largely ignored by federal policy. The cost of that neglect may well be the failure to realize the social benefits ofbroadband and a broadly-connected digital societ...

Karen Mossberger is Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Caroline Tolbert is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. William Franko is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Auburn University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:December 24, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199812950

ISBN - 13:9780199812950

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Table of Contents

1. Cities and a Digital Society2. The Need for Urban Broadband Policy3. Place and Inequality: Urban, Suburban, and Rural America4. Mobile Access and The Less-Connected5. Ranking Digital Cities and Suburbs6. Mapping Opportunity in Chicago Neighborhoods7. The Geography of Barriers to Broadband Adoption8. Barriers to Adoption in Chicago Neighborhoods9. From Neighborhoods to Washington: Policy SolutionsReferencesAppendix AAppendix BAppendix CIndex