The Urban Communication Reader III
Edited By Matthew D. Matsaganis, Victoria J. Gallagher and Susan J. Drucker
1 Introduction: The Making of Communicative Cities in the 21st Century
The Communicative Construction of the City
The Making of Communicative Cities in the 21st Century
Matthew D. Matsaganis & Victoria J. Gallagher
Around the mid-1800s, technological innovation in transportation broke, says Melvin (1987), the “casement of the walking city” (p. 258). As people moved further away from the densely populated and geographically limited urban centers, they created and settled into neighborhoods. Researchers began to see cities, counties, states, and the entire country, more and more, as a union of many identifiable units, a quilt made up of distinct neighborhoods (Woods, 1923). In the early days of the Chicago School of urban community ecology, between 1915 and 1925, Park, Burgess, McKenzie, and others pointed to transportation, but also to communication as two of the key mechanisms of social organization shaping the American urban communities of their time. Park in particular, perhaps because he had been trained as a journalist, argued that “transportation and communication [emphasis added] are primary factors in the ecological organization of the city” (Park, 1925/1967, p. 2).
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