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Thread: Digital blueprints / connected neighbourhoods

  1. #1
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    Digital blueprints / connected neighbourhoods

    Does anyone know anything about "Digital Blueprints"? In essence a masterplan or neighbourhood strategy focused on the digital connectivity of new and existing places. It's a topic that is developing increasing importance and the below quote from "Designing for the Digital World" (2002) suggests, that at least in 2002, little was being done by planners is this area:

    Andrew Gillespie: Digital Lifestyles and the Future City

    Gillespie concludes: “We are left to conclude that planners have yet to develop the awareness, let alone the experience or appropriate policy intervention mechanisms, that would enable them to influence the spatial development of a digital society. Somebody is ‘planning’ the digital city – the telecommunications companies perhaps? - but it certainly doesn’t seem to be the planners!”

    Has anything changed since 2002 on this subject?

    The Connected Neighbourhoods Forum (http://www.connectedneighbourhoods.org.uk), launched in 2007, is exploring this agenda and it would be great to hear any planning views.

  2. #2
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    I've read that Wimax is being trialed in somewhere like Daventry - is this what you mean?

    As well as planning, I'm in IT to an extent. Although it cuts my throat to say, but I'm fearful of excessive connectivity and networking. For every technology that's born, a beneficial human attribute is lost.

    My 2 cents.

  3. #3
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    Wimax is one element. It's also about putting high speed fibre optic cables through existing utilities pipe and then into peoples homes, providing on line local communities, access in the public realm and providing integrated local services via the internet.


    The Europeans Cities Monitor
    found "quality of telecommunications" to be the third most important consideration when Europe's top 500 companies choose a new location. There are also many reports about how far the UK is behind the rest of the world in this respect. Is it time that the city and town planners started taking notice of this?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    When i have been involved with larger developments on behalf of the developer, we have approached cable companies about laying cables in the development as its built. They make a judgement based upon the business case, but if the development is big it makes a good deal of sense to lay cables during construction as its cheap.

    So in new developments its generally put in... or am i being niave...

    The city centre is now covered by Wi-Fi this was a joint City Council and wireless company project.

    Retrofitting further out? Nah, unless a cable company finds they have a spare couple of billion laying about.

    The point stands I don't think planners do have a handle on it, and I know we do not have a policy to enforce it, but i think that would silly in a deregulated telecoms market.

  5. #5
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    What do you think will / should happen with the new eco-towns? Will consideration be given to a digital blueprint?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    I'd bloody hope so!

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Moved from the former Planning in the UK forum.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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