Digital City

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
Mika Yasuoka
Master student,Kyoto University

As is often said, "Human being is social animal" it is indispensable for human being to keep having relations with others and belonging to places they feel at ease, and which brings a society into existence in the end. Activities held in societies comprehend not only community but also economy and politics. So that we need to think society as a body composed by multiple faces. If a local shopping center gets slack, a community of that area lost its vigor and personal consumption gets lower. If local government doesn't carry out its duty, the socially weak such as the old, and the young lost its supports.
Many think it possible to solve and reduce existing social problems and restrictions in the coming network society. However, simply networked society can't bring solutions.


Digital Society, which is well planned and carefully implemented to networking society, might be able to break the vicious circle and change it into better. Such a digital society can support not only one part of society but a whole society.


Such a digital society -Digital city- can become a necessity for people accepted unconsciously just like air. Building such digital cities give a full of suggestions from information point of view to governments, enterprises, communities and individuals who are worried about economic, political and social growth and as a result, they become strong motives to vitalize physical local societies. As physical societies stretch their functions both outside and inside of societies, digital cities play key roles to make information sphere in stretching both sides. In the end, digital cities do the most important role; supporting physical society, and the profits digital cities get will be returned to the real social sphere.
Because;They can
-Build high reliability on them by depending on the real existence while infinite virtual cities lost their reliability by building on virtual existence.
-Expand functions of cities
-Expand human relations to two sides; one is to strengthen local relations, others is to generate cross-cultural relations.

In the first context, Digital Cities can support existing products, shops and people. For example, supposing that shopping center tried to build a shopping site on the web. But it is clear that they canft flight against virtual shopping malls that have numerous numbers of shops on one site. However such shops, virtual but interactive with real existence, can put high reliability even on a virtual world by means of using high reputations of those real shops. People would tend to use such interactive shops on the web, and which promote vitalization of local shopping area. As a result, that would be able to vitalize local life cycle.

In the second context, Digital Cities can support existing cities directly by playing a role of, such as, Yellow Pate. This Yellow Page on the web could not only inform phone numbers but also locate places of a shop or to connect with its web page.
Or Digital Cities can make it easier for people to get information connected to a location. For example, when people feel unpleasant smell in their residential area, and think it because of air pollution contributed by a certain factory. It would be easy to identify one factory and to check the status of control of exhaust gas immediately in Digital Cities where location and factories are connected each other on the web.
Or Digital Cities could support peoplefs real life on the physical world by acquiring city information stored in the web. For example, a city might offer the blind fewer obstacles to live a life as they can get their necessity in a city easier than in suburban area. But it never means it is easy for them to go out without any helps. When they want to deal with city activities, Digital Cities linking maps of the city could support them by informing detailed city information such as signals of a street and numbers of stairs in front of them. For another example, supposing that there would be person searches information about a city he is visiting. He who is interested in music could find a place to stay near from music facilities, restaurants and halls by using web maps interacting with facility-locations. Digital Cities that have all elements of a city could tie individual with commercial and politics bodies, community and NGOs that usually play in different fields.

In the last context, Digital Cities could strengthen and stretch out human relations by eliminating distances and lack of interactions that often observed between government and citizens. For example, they could break obstacles and misunderstandings between local government and citizens by information disclosure, one of the advantages of information age.
Or Digital Cites could stretch personal relations by supporting language and excluding physical restrictions such as distance and time lags. For example, there are many citizens in Kyoto who wish to share their rich history, national treasures and knowledge with non-Japanese. Digital Cities could lower the wall by supporting language problems lying between Japanese and non-Japanese. Cultural exchanges and communication with language supports via network could become easier in the web than in face to face where require rich individual knowledge.

Digital city can be the most fundamental approach in order to support physical social space in this network age as physical social space and digital city are complement each other.


Therefore, we need to build digital city as a comprehensive digital sphere which has all elements observed in the physical city. It can be the place that penetrate physical sphere just like air.

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