Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2004, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (7s): 67-76.doi: 10.11821/xb20047s010

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Spatial Implications of New Information and Communication Technologies

LIU Weidong11, ZHEN Feng22   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Department of Urban and Resources, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2004-06-07 Revised:2004-09-11 Online:2004-12-25 Published:2004-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40131010; No.40301014

Abstract:

Recent decades have witnessed extraordinary advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs), which have helped to change social and economic life. Such changes have drawn much attention from scholars in various academic fields, and have initiated fervent debates on the spatial implications of new ICTs. Geographers have been prominent, particularly in contesting the popular view that distance no longer matters and that "the end of geography" is at hand. With these debates, urban and regional development under new ICTs has become a hot issue in geographical studies. This paper, mainly based on literature in English journals, tries to review and summarize the studies on spatial impacts of new ICTs at three levels, i.e. regional restructuring, urban restructuring and firm-level restructuring. Existing literature reveals that new ICTs have played an increasingly important role in the spatial transformations of the economy in the last several decades, but they are "an enabling or facilitating agent". Since there exists a gap between the introduction of new ICTs and changes in the spatial pattern of firms, empirical evidence is still insufficient for drawing firms on new ICT impacts. Overally, the spatial transformations at firm level have not yet been given enough attention by geographers.

Key words: new information and communication technology, spatial restructuring, regional development, city network, technological innovation