ICT and related e-technologies have had an enormous impact, not only on people and people’s spaces in all parts of the world, but also on urban space dynamics, the form and function of urban spaces and urban space networks and economies, and urban planning in general. Due to the rapid development of ICT in recent years, it is expected that these impacts will become more severe, unpredictable and complex in the future.
The main aim of this study is to explore the nature and properties of ICT, as well as the ways in which ICT and related e-technologies are influencing people, space and planning.
The study, which is exploratory in nature, draws on a meta-research approach, supported by a conceptual research approach, in an attempt to arrive at some meta-synthesis and perspectives of the various related discourses, studies and theories on the subject matter.
The study presents fresh perspectives on the challenges and dynamics of ICT, as well as the nature, extent and speed of the influence and impact (positive and negative) of ICT and related e-technologies on people’s spaces, human conduct, emotions, urban space dynamics and morphology, and urban space networks. In relation to this, evidence is provided of the power of ICT, the ways in which the dominant e-powers are controlling society, and how ICT has (em)powered people, spaces and planning.
The study further highlights the complexity and challenges of the emerging hybrid e-spaces and networks, which have resulted from the merging of physical and virtual spaces and networks.
The study in the end also presents some realities and future possibilities (and threats), for both urban and rural regions in South Africa, with specific reference to the impoverished communities in remote rural areas that have been isolated and excluded from ICT opportunities.
This study has identified many gaps in the knowledge field and could create a new awareness, understanding and interest, not only amongst researchers, but also amongst the various role players involved with the planning, development and management of urban and rural regions.