11 February 2011

Meaning of Space in Cities: Spaces for Political Protest

The situation in Cairo caused me to think about urban spaces. It is noteworthy that the main protest is in a central plaza (Tahrir Square) and that further protests are outside the state television building and president's palace. Obviously, the protestors are very aware of these uses of physical space within this context has political symbology and are metaphors for larger issues. Although the impact of social networking is important, the actual protest is similar to others throughout history. But, it is different due to power of communication in this time period. While the protesters are in a physical space addressing national issues, their audience is ultimately international. The power of social networking via the internet is important on a local scale and internationally. Scales and distances make no difference. What is important is that this is all playing out within an urban setting.

06 February 2011

Internet Social Networking and Cities

The situation in the Middle East starting with Tunisia and spreading to Egypt and other countries in the region proves the power of the Internet through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to mobilize people in cities for social change. The movements were without real leadership or planned action and thus radically different from other similar urban protests in the past. Such mobilization could not have happened without these technological innovations. What are the implications of the growth of Internet social networking for the governance of cities? Any comments are welcome. Also, manuscripts concerning this topic would be very welcome in the online journal Urbana: http://www.tamuk.edu/geo/Urbana/
Manuscripts can be sent directly to michaelamcadams@yahoo.com