Abstract - The Informtion Society 6(4)

How U.S. Cities Compete Through Information Technology: Securing an Urban Advantage

Joyce Elam, Edwards, Dan and Richard O. Mason

The information age is bringing about a change in the world division of labor. Many of the great trading cities that arose during the Industrial Revolution as shipping, railroad, and financial centers are facing new challenges. Information technology and the changing nature of business and government offer new opportunities, as well as threats, to these and other cities as they strive to acquire or retain treasured economic activity. Telecommunications andcomputation capacity are among the tools cities can use as they compete for this commerce. Several case studies are reported, and an examination is made of the strategies employed by large cities such as New York and Boston, progressive cities such as Omaha, Nebraska, and small cities, such as Heathrow, Florida. Some lessons are: 1. The telecommunications infrastructure must be designed to fit the city's comparative advantage. 2. From among the many players, such as city governments and real estate developers, one must emerge as project champion.

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