In 1993, at the first of our Global Village conferences, we showed two slides that I also would like to introduce my speech with. You all know that the city of Los Angeles is a city which has been most dramatically changed by the automobile. What used to be a lavish, green agricultural valley has been sealed with concrete. Therefore, the satellite view of Los Angeles today shows grey as the predominant colour.
The question which has kept us busy since then is, can information technology have a similar impact on the face of cities as did the automobiles, which wiped out the public transportation system in Los Angeles and made nature disapear? Sometimes we like America because things can go to extremities, and we also found an artistic vision that would celebrate an extreme view of telematic impact. Joseph Smyth from Los Angeles argued it is not necessarily the people that prefer the single family home, it is rather the choice of the car.