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The Digital CityMedia and the Social Production of Place$
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Germaine Halegoua

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479839216

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479839216.001.0001

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The Connected City

The Connected City

Digital Infrastructure and Urban Transformation

(p.66) 2 The Connected City
The Digital City

Germaine R. Halegoua

NYU Press

Chapter 2 analyzes debates about re-placeing at the municipal scale. A key focus of this analysis is how different models of infrastructure deployment create visible geographies of digital inclusion and exclusion. The author investigates the practice of re-placeing the city from the perspective of those who plan and implement digital infrastructure projects, the municipal officials who oversee them, the people who benefit from them, and those who “opt out” of or are excluded from these efforts. Employing the example of Google’s Fiber for Communities project in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, the author illustrates how processes of digital infrastructure implementation reveal polysemic experiences of the city as a place. Through interviews and participant observation of Google Fiber deployment and digital inclusion efforts in Kansas and Missouri, the chapter offers an analysis of how infrastructure installation as urban renewal re-places the city and reveals conflicting affective experiences of infrastructure and how digital connection is perceived as relevant among populations with differential mobilities, socioeconomic statuses, and distinct experiences and attachments to the city in which they live.

Keywords:   digital infrastructure, Google Fiber, Kansas City, digital inclusion, urban renewal, digital connection

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