Reference : Technocratic urban development: Large digital corporations as power brokers of the di...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/50516
Technocratic urban development: Large digital corporations as power brokers of the digital age
English
Carr, Constance mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Geography and Spatial Planning (DGEO) >]
Hesse, Markus mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Geography and Spatial Planning (DGEO) >]
2022
Planning Theory and Practice
Routledge
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
1464-9357
1470-000X
United Kingdom
[en] Amazon HQ2 ; big tech ; digital cities ; governance ; policy failure ; Sidewalk Labs ; urban development
[en] Large digital corporations such as Amazon.com or Alphabet Inc. are forging their position in cities by promoting themselves as the sole providers of so-called essential urban infrastructures. In this paper, we reflect on how the behaviours of these current-day ‘tech giants’ are similar to those of the mid-20th century, a time period also known for dramatic infrastructural change in North American and Europe. Specifically, we are reminded of Robert Moses and how he pushed for infrastructural change in New York City and State, which were also supposedly the height of state-of-the-art urban planning at the time. He pushed his agenda, however, by brokering power and strong-arming the urban and regional development field. We reflect on Alphabet Inc.’s project in Toronto and Amazon’s search for a second headquarters in New York City and how these LDCs were similarly armed with executive and financial power and an ability to bully the field of urban development in their own interest. Behaving as digital-age power brokers, they engaged managerial-technocratic modes of urban governance to instigate projects that ultimately failed. We argue that Alphabet’s and Amazon’s strategies not only resemble those of Moses, but that all three deploy tactics that debase planning practice itself.
Fonds National de la Recherche - FnR
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/50516
10.1080/14649357.2022.2043717

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