This article explores the ways in which communications technologies influence the shape and form of cities and large metropolitan regions. After reviewing the scholarly literature, the author suggests that there is a need to consider the ways in which telecommunications can lead to both the centralization and decentralization of economic activity. The article analyzes the limits and opportunities for telecommuting as well as the emerging pattern of Internet development in the United States. Although local governments have traditionally taken a passive role with regard to telecommunications systems, there is a growing awareness that telecommunications can affect local economic development. Furthermore, the widespread deployment of antennas for cellular telephones is stimulating public involvement in land use regulations. Finally, the article considers the impact of new telecommunications on inner-city communities and the delivery of public services in cities.
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