Virtual Cities: Redefining the Urban Experience in the Physical and the Virtual at the Turn of the Millennium

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Abstract:

The end of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth brought Chicago to the front of the list of great urban centres across the globe. This rapid elevation was the result of a concordance of circumstances which themselves represented new forms of urban conceptualism. Today we find ourselves in a position similar to that experienced by the denizens of Chicago at the turn of the century; on a global scale, we have found new technologies of representation at precisely the moment that significant new forms of urban space and urbanity are emerging. But to see these as unconnected would be to miss the lessons of a century ago. New Internet technologies offer forms of representation that promise universal applicability but in fact reinflect information about the city in both blatant and subtle ways. Here and now, again, we find older systems of representation still holding out against the promises of new technologies, even as the new technologies have begun to transform our systems of imagining urban space.

Keywords: Chicago; Internet; cyberspaces; photography; urbanism; virtual city

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejac.20.1.5

Affiliations: University of Illinois at Chicago.

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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