As a strong urbanization trend is consolidating worldwide, cities – “global” cities in particular – are playing an increasingly important role in the economic, infrastructural, and social development of countries and regions. This trend, however, also brings with it new problems: from the social inclusion and mobility of a growing number of citizens, to the environmental impact of cities that face the challenges posed by a rapid, and at times chaotic urbanization.
"Distance will die,” or so predicted British economist Frances Cairncross, along with a host of social and media theorists, following the spread of the internet in the 1990s. At the dawn of this digital transformation, many theorists thought that, since the Internet allows us to work and connect with each other from anywhere, we would no longer need physical space. It could be the end of the city as we knew it.