Telematics is a bridge

It is true that much of the telematic support work is done from call centers, back offices in suburbian settings, where middle class labour is abundantly available. Nevertheless we see lots of hungry young startup institutions, branches and subsidiaries of large corporations populating the central districts and office towers which were predicted obsolete. The need for clustering, for support and communication is better met in a physical environment that is dense and dynamic, and the more diverse and chaotic the global reach from the city gets, the more we look to the centers of power.

So what happened to the intention of my speech? Have I not started with the statement that I want to talk in favour of the rural areas, of the villages, of the remote places? And have I not just repeated what you know from urbanists like Saskja Sassen, that the Global City has outperformed the Global Village?

I did this for the very reason that you do not get me wrong. We have studied and even participated for the last 6 years in some cases of telematic development and the result was very simple and striking. A telematic space is not one, it is always at least two. There is no use in a telecottage, telecenter or telehouse and not even in a teleport, if there is not a dedicated second place that fits in form and function. Telematic is a bridge, not a single pillar monument. Whenever this simple truth was not put into practice, the project died or never came to life.

It is exactly those bridges that constitute the largest economical challenge for cities that want to maintain and expand their knowledge bases.