For years, the prevailing wisdom was that the Internet might be bad for cities, as people could essentially do everything, from work to entertainment, from their home in the country. Certainly this is true to a point; I am writing this from a cabin in the woods. In the Financial Times, Simon Kuper notes that in fact, the opposite is happening;
Writing in the Financial Times, Simon Kuper notes that the internet, and the smart phone in particular, are bringing people together.
The internet was perfect for cities. It created new networks that reinforced older urban networks. Patrik Regardh, head of strategic marketing for the mobile-phone operator Ericsson, says urbanites email, phone and use social networks more than people outside cities. After all, they have more contacts, and so they communicate more.
Kuper makes an interesting point about how desktop computers tied people to their desks, and laptops tied them to Starbucks. But the smartphone changes everything.
In short, smartphones are helping make the densest cities the best places to live, as witnessed by property prices in Hong Kong, New York, Paris and London.
More in The Financial Times