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ATTIVITA' / Contributi Back

January 10, 2000


Milan, Italy, 1/2/3 Dec 1999-11-10

organized by

Milan Polythecnic University, Italy

Professor Celestino Soddu, Architect
Director of Generative Design Lab

The era of generative tech-nets:
bit watt -.- and complexity

by Giuseppe Silvi

A Village for every era

From the "Local Village" of the agricultural era to the "Global Village" of the industrial/post-industrial era and on to the "Glocal Villages" of the era of generative tech-nets, bits, watts, etc.

The Earths roughly six billion inhabitants now live, at least in the most industrialized countries, on urbanized territory equipped with technological systems conceived, designed and constructed mainly over the last century.

The "networks" of transport (cars, trains, ships, aircraft, etc.) and energy (gas, electricity, oil, etc.), but also the increasingly widespread and capillary neworks of telecommunications (radio, television, telephone, fax, cell phones, the Internet, etc.) have led in the space of less than one hundred years to the creation of the so-called "Global Village".

In this Village it is possible to move both "physically" from one place to another at the aeroplanes maximum speed of about 1,000 kph and "virtually" via computer terminals at the speed of light, 300,000 kps, with no obstacles of space or time.

Unlike the situation today, the roughly 80 million human beings of 4,000-5,000 years ago lived in "Local Villages" connected neither by roads nor by TLC networks. They spent their whole lives in the village except for the periods of variable length spent exploring the surrounding territory or in the aftermath of wars and natural disasters like earthquake, flood, etc.

Over the centuries the "Local Village" underwent radical evolution also in terms of structural modeling to foster the highest possible degree of communication and exchange of information among its inhabitants.

The Piazza in the middle of the village was the place to exchange information, experience and know-how serving also to foresee and tackle unknown natural phenomena, such as climatic changes connected with seasonal cycles, or sudden, unexpected events like storms and hurricanes.

When night fell, Fire served not only to give warmth and help overcome fear and solitude, but also to create another Magical Point around which people could gather to go on communicating.

Most primitive dances also took place with the participants in a circle so as to foster physical contact and communication.

The modes of communication around these Magical Points through physical meetings "face to face" remained predominant and unchanged over the millennia right up to the end of the nineteenth century, and were still in use in the peasant communities of the first half of the twentieth. Suffice it to consider the popular songs, traditions and teachings handed down orally from father to son.

For the millions of human beings who lived in "Local Villages" big or small, the challenge was to survive in a world dominated by the unknown forces of nature.

In this respect, communication and cooperation were indispensable if men were to cope successfully with unpredictable natural phenomena,, discover the natural resources needed for food and clothing, etc.

At a distance of millennia, and in less than one century, the massive development of technological networks has brought about the transformation of the "Local Villages" into a single "Global Village" where weather forecasts are available in seconds via audiotel, radio, television or the Internet.

Information on the stocks of most natural and mineral resources is also available via access to databases updated in real time through telemonitoring.

What now lies totally outside the control of inhabitants of the "Global Village" is not therefore natural phenomena or information on the Earths food or energy resources, but the phenomena triggered by the interdependent functioning of the various technological networks that literally encircle the globe.

Examples of such interdependence are becominhg increasingly frequent and involving ever-larger numbers of people. The following item appeared in 1998 in the newspapaers of half the world: "USA satellite failure pager breakdown 40 million Americans disappear". On 21 May 1998 the newspaper Il Messaggero reported as follows: "The consequences are incalculable. The entire health system broke down due to the sudden impossibility to locate the doctors on duty in the hospitals. In many large cities the main police stations were unable to reach their patrols. TV news programmes interrupted. Cash dispensers and other computerized systems out of order. Millions of doctors, lawyers and brokers in despair. Feverish work under way at PanAmSat to reposition the malfunctioning satellite."

Such episodes show that while pagers and telephones make it possible to exchange messages interactively and at a distance, all the 40 million Americans had to meet somewhere in person, having retained unchanged the deeply rooted need to communicate "face to face" like the inhabitants of the "Local Village" of centuries ago.

Every day millions of people exchange information on the telephone and then end their conversation by making an appointment to meet, even if only for the length of time needed to shake hands and look one another in the eyes, to escape from the isolation of the home, the neighbourhood or the office.

The few bits "virtually" exchanged via telematics are thus transformed into "physical movements" of people along the traditional highways of "steel" and "oil" by car, train, aircraft, etc.

This transformation of "virtual bits" into "physical movements" not only involves thousands of "watts of power/energy" but also triggers phenomena of interdependence between telematic networks and other technological and transport networks with effects on physical mobility, the telematic networks themselves (e.g. busy lines or blackouts) and the use of natural resources.

These effects could also prove to be wholly unpredictable and unknown, as the effects of natural phenomena once were for primitive human beings.

The "Millenium Bug" emergency is itself an example of this interdependence between the technological networks of bits (telematic networks) and those of "watts" (electricity and transport networks, etc.).

For the few billion human beings living in the "Global Village" the challenge of every day is to survive in a world dominated by the interdependent functioning of the various technological networks.

At a distance of millennia human beings again face a challenge where communication and cooperation are indispensable if were are not only to govern the effects produced by telematic networks on transport systems and other technological networks but also to manage natural and energy resources in an innovative fashion.

There is a real and urgent need to supersede the "Global Village" and create a new Village, the "Glocal Village" (Global + Local), with new and more advanced Magical Points of communication and cooperation at global and local level.

These must arise from a harmonious blending of the Magical Points of the old structure of the "Local Village" dancing in a circle, the domestic hearth, the piazza, etc. and those of the present-day "Global Village" megadiscoteques, television, cinema, offices, cafés, restaurants, supermarkets, roads, railway stations, airports, etc.

In just over a year and one month we shall be entering the new millennium, and no one has a crystal ball to foresee how we will live, how a "Glocal Village" will be constituted, how big it will be, if it will be an entire neighbourhood of a city, an entire block or just a condominium, and if it will actually exist one day.

Between the end of the last century and the end of this one, the "Local Villages" have been connected to one another by means of technological networks to become a single "Global Village". The 20th century will be remembered in the history of mankind as the "bridge" between the last century of rural settlements and the century of urban settlements.

The present rapid development of telematic networks (the Internet, gsm and wap, satellite telephone, etc.) and their appropriate use could be conducive to the transformation of the "Global Village" into thousands of "Glocal Villages".

From the Global Village to Glocal Villages

The widespread use of telematic networks tends to globalize the whole of reality. Even our minds now live outside the territorial context in a diffuse mental "globalization" where information, cultures, and lifestyles are compared, coexist, and sometimes overlap to cancel eachother out.

In this situation, everyday life still requires a local territorial context and the policy of territorial development must take this into account so as to attenuate the schizophrenic division between Global and Local.

The numerous new terms applied to the problems of this totally innovative relationship between "Global / Virtual" and "Local / Real" highlight the fact that we are still in search of the "right words" to define the relationship between material and immaterial reality, between virtual and physical, between the channels of remote communication (videoconferences, the Internet, cell phones, fax, etc.) and the places of face-to-face communication where we live and work.

..Global Village Telematic Piazzas The Wired City The Telematic City - The Invisible City Digital Cities Information Piazza Telematic Agora Multimedia Piazza Electronic Piazza Multimedia Arcade Cultural Piazza Virtual Piazza Multimedia Theatre Universal Piazza Digital Piazza Digital Forums Equipped Multimedia Areas MediaLibrary - TelePalazzo Ludoteque Teleport VideoCentre Mediateque Telecenter Telecottages Tele Business Centre TeleOffice Telematic Center - Community Technology Centers Network Public Communication Centers Multimedia Center Integrated Telecommunications Centers Web Call Centers - Integrated Community Networks - Third Millennium Monasteries Decentralized Technological Settlement Units Urban Telematic Nuclei Bureaux de Voisinnage Communities and Networks NetPolis TelePolis TeleCities - Electronic Cottage - Internet Café Internet Gate Café - - Internet shop - TeleCar Tele-Automobile Centers - Global Village + Locale Glocal Village


There is a reference on the one hand to urban locations symbolizing both a distant past, such as "Village", "Piazza", "Palazzo", "Theater", "Port", "Café" and "City", and a more recent past, such as "Center", "Nucleus" and "Office", and on the other to new concepts like Global, Telematic, Multimedia, Digital, Invisible, Virtual, Universal, etc., connected with Public and Community.

These numerous real items arriving over the Internet and the mass media bear witness to the great difficulty experienced in defining the new territorially based sites whose task it will be to respond to the human need for greater and faster mobility both of ideas / knowledge and of physical movement from one place to another while preserving social life, the environment and economic development.


In the course of history the spread of a technology over a "territory" reserved for human activities has never failed to lead to a reduction in human presence in the "territory" in question. This absurd and paradoxical state of affairs is instead coming about with the impact of telematic technologies and systems on "office territory".

In the agricultural and industrial societies the spread of agricultural machinery and robotics led to the replacement of agricultural laborers in the fields and blue-collar workers on the factory production lines, thus causing a drastic decrease in human presence in the "territory" of such places, and limiting it over time to an ever-smaller number of people involved in operating or controlling tireless machinery.

With the spread of "telematics" one would have expected a reduction of human presence in "office territory" similar to those that took place in the fields and more recently in the factories.

So far, however, this has not happened despite the fact that since the early 1980s newspapers have been coming out with headlines like "telework for all no more offices".

So far office areas have not only failed to disappear but continue to expand. Every day millions of people go from their homes to the office, where they end up using telematic tools (PCs, e-mail, the Internet, etc.) that they could also use at home or in a place near home, or in movement with suitable portable equipment or equipment installed on means of transport.

In actual fact, office employees have not yet managed to take full advantage of the potential and benefits of telematic technology as a tool capable of freeing territory and resources.

If this had happened at the time of the spread of agricultural machinery in the fields and robots in the factories, we would have had a situation where, instead of immediately taking advantage of the opportunity to quit tiring and repetitive jobs and go on to new activities, agricultural laborers and factory workers remained "idle" in the "workplace" (employed-unemployed) watching the spectacle of machines working in their place. In real terms, they would have remained still trapped in the past.

Why is it that despite the arrival of telematics it has proved impossible to open up new physical and virtual territories for new activities, for a new model of social and economic development?

Unlike agricultural machinery and robots, telematics is a technology connected with human communication.

Neither water nor methane nor gas nor oil travel over the telematic networks (both fixed and mobile telephony, Internet, videoconferences, etc.).

What does travel there is culture, social relations, fashions, current mentality, values, power relationships and their rules.

The physical places of reference for human activities also tend to remain the same: home, workplace, public offices, supermarkets, shops, hotels, car parks, etc.

Though extraordinary, the possibilities offered by telematic technology to decentralize many of the citys modern and service functions in homes or places near the home will not succeed by themselves in causing radical change in territorially based cultural, social and organizational models of reference, and still less in changing the organizational systems of institutions and firms that have consolidated over decades.

This is borne out by the fact that telematics is used predominantly to make such existing models more internally efficient and increase their productivity, but not to create a new system of effective and innovative services such as systems for the mass hiring of telematic workstations and teleautomobiles.

In their book on "The Trap of Globalization" (published by Raetia under the original title Die Globalisierungsfalle - Der Angriff auf Demokratie und Wohlstand), Hans-Peter Martin and Harold Schumann raise the question of whether we are not in fact heading for a "20:80" society with hitherto unimagined levels of unemployment.

Will one-fifth of the population suffice to keep the world economy functioning?

What will then become of all the others, i.e. the remaining 80%?

Starting in the 1960s and undergoing more recent development through the creation of telematic networks (bit tech-nets) (Internet, cellular phone, etc.), the innovative impact of information technology (IT) has led to an enormous increase in productivity. The markets for material goods are saturated, the land suitable for building is saturated, and the traditional models of development are in a state of deep crisis.

These phenomena affect all the industrialized societies and necessitate a total and radical transformation of existing models of life, work and production.

The pure globalization of the economy backed up by telematics at the service of essentially centralized systems of trade and production leads to the unduly accentuated robotization of production processes with extremely harmful repercussions on the present models of development based on Steel/Cement/Oil/Paper, where increasingly dangerous levels of saturation are being reached.

Employed exclusively to make the processes of production increasingly automatic (robots and office automation), telematics will not be capable of ensuring the reversibility of the above-mentioned saturation of the traditional models of development.

Even in the telecommunications sector itself, since the introduction of competition into TLC infrastructures the various operators have prefered to develop their own infrastructures, thereby multiplying the territorial presence of telematic infrastructures cell-phone and satellite antennas, Europe-wide fiber-optic infrastructures, etc. but the hoped-for development of telematic services throughout national territory has not undergone the development requested by the market. In pratical terms, the financial resources invested to promote the development of the Information Society are serving to fuel the old production sectors of material goods (more cellular telephones, more cables over 2,500,000 km of optic fiber cables already laid in Italy alone more antennas, etc.) to the detriment of the development of the market for immaterial goods and services.

In an era in which speed is imposed by the speed of exchanges via the Internet, it is in any case easier to do what you know how to do rather than develop new policies of social and economic development to allow citizens to make the cultural leap forward that is indispensable for the production of immaterial goods and services, which is itself an indispensable prerequisite for the dematerialized economy promised and promoted by the Internet.

The privatization of TLC infrastructures is having a great many positive effects on the Italian and European markets, such as the lowering of telephone charges and the vastly expanded range of increasingly innovative telematic services.

Nevertheless, there is still no glimpse of a way to solve certain problems connected with the development of the new Information Society. These include the following:

- Providing universal access to telematic services for all citizens where, when and how they choose

- Avoiding the "digital divide" between the info-poor and the info-rich, between the young and the old (a problem raised by Vice President Al Gore in the USA, the country with the worlds highest percentage of Internet users)

- Avoiding an increase in psychosomatic illnesses connected with the social isolation caused by teleworking at home or in the office in front of a terminal. Attention has been drawn to this phenomenon by the American Association of Psychologists, which estimates on the basis of a market sample study that about 11 million Internet users out of a total of about 200 million suffer from a sort of "Internet addiction". In pratical terms, after spending many hours alone in front of the monitor, these 11 million users cannot adapt to real life, and thus stay on the Web for hours and hours, incurring permanent psychological disorders, insomnia, etc.

Ultimately, telematic technologies will end up being used, despite their enormous intrinsic potential, in a shortsighted perspective of advantages for the few.

The problems highlighted above are questions of a general character that directly affect the social sphere and the domain of political choice, and force us to address this question:

What can be done at the end of the millennium in order to "advance" without "losing ground"?

It is an urgent necessity to supersede the boundaries of "physical space" and the saturated models of development of the industrial era.

As the INTERNET clearly shows, telematics offers a path from the increasingly crowded "physical world" to the "new spaces" of a "dematerialized world" involving the production and consumption of new immaterial goods (information, software, services, entertainment, culture, etc.) and of material goods with a high proportion of immaterial content (design, fashion, etc.).

The new forms of employment, activity, social integration, lifestyles and "glocal" (global/local) work are all generated within these new "immaterial spaces" and constitute the basis of the future economy of the Information Society.

If we are to enter the Information Society, it is essential to plan and create new models of organization and management based on new models of economics and jurisdiction, to create new technological infrastructures to sustain the development of these new "immaterial spaces" as they expand and broaden the horizons of the "physical world".

This is the only way to ensure that the residual 80% of citizens in the 20:80 society hypothesized by Martin and Schuman are not excluded from forms of active participation in economic and social life.

It may not be an exaggeration to suggest that, in the era of telematic networks with very strong implications as regards the globalization of markets and the economy, it is essential that the articles of the constitutions of all states be rewritten so as to guarantee a new freedom, a new brotherhood and a new equality between the northern and southern hemispheres and between the citizens of the same city.

We should at least universally adopt the principle that "multimedia and telematic technologies must be used to foster a series of territorially based services designed to free physical territory and open up new virtual territories as a basis for the development of a new model of Global and Local Society", and hence define the new universal rights of citizens of the third millennium.

Once this principle has been adopted and is constantly applied in programmes of economic policy and industrial development, it is practically certain that it will have an important and positive impact as regards to creation of a model of sustainable development.

The proposal of our association to set up the two new physical infrastructures entitled "Telematic Piazzas" and "TeleAutomobile Centers" is wholly in line with the perspective outlined above. In other words, the goals is to use these new technological infrastructures so as to reorientate phenomena of mass consumption, to free physical territory, and to open up new virtuial territories, thus creating new jobs and improving the environment in which we live and work.

A network of 20,000 TELEMATIC PIAZZAS

A territorially based physical infrastructure of new and rigorously public urban spaces consisting of reclaimed urban areas and buildings / piazzas (places for meetings and social relations between members of the local community and/or visitors in transit) linked to one another by TLC networks and telematic / IT structures (spaces for the remote linking of virtual communities).

The telematic connection networks must be created in ADSL (2Mb/s) and eventually or wherever available in ATM (Asyncronous Transfer Mode, 34-155 Mb/s) or via satellite with funds from the central authorities (national and European funds) and implemented by the best constructors / creators of technological networks (companies capable of creating smart tunnels, TLC and IT companies) selected by means of national and international calls for tenders.

Further definitions for "TELEMATIC PIAZZAS"

- New "urban polarities" with strong potential to attract flows of everyday mobility as a context in which to recover the semantic value of the piazza and hence develop both social and professional relations

- New urban locations uniting the old functions performed by the "Local Village" piazza as regards the "face-to-face" exchange of information and socialization with the new functions and forms of remote interactivity of the "Global Village"

- New urban locations open to the public in which all citizens, as well as firms and self-employed professionals, can make use of technologically advanced services including the following:

1. Services of public utility for citizens (free of charge or at cost price), televoting, civic networks, etc.

2. Services for the local development of telematic literacy and support for new scholastic autonomy, for innovation in small and medium-sized firms, for the dissemination of information of job opportunities and enterprise creation

3. Pay services for telework, training, videoconferences, Internet access, e-mail, e-commerce, etc.

The network of 20,000 Telematic Piazzas will constitute a socio-technological system of public utility distributed throughout Italian territory.

Its creation is to be regarded as a work of primary urbanization, social importance and general interest as it provides a universal service of access to the "telematic highways" just as happens with the freeway system, which provides everybody with access to the "universal system of asphalt freeways" and thus makes it possible for everybody, regardless of their means of transport, to get from one place to another.

While the Piazza must be public, just like the telematic networks connecting the piazzas to one another (public telematic highways), by analogy with asphalt freeways the telematic services for which charges are made (based on cost or value) must be provided under conditions of free competition also in the Telematica Piazza.

However, to continue with our analogy, just as the management of a service area along the stretches of "asphalt freeway" is taken over by the private company putting forward the lowest bid on a concessionary basis (e.g. Agip, Shell, etc. for petrol and Spizzico or MacDonald for food), management of the Telematic Piazzas will be assigned to best bidder / provider, which will be responsible for guaranteeing univeral free services and services of public utility (WC, telephone, access to civic networks, information services of public utility, etc.).

The creation of a network of 20,000 Telematic Piazzas will foster the creation of a market linked to the development of further telematic services that can be supplied directly to the homes of over 19 million Italian families.

The promotion of efforts to increase household awareness of new telematic services (first of all teleworking and e-commerce) will also make it possible to stimulate the development of a competitive market for the "last mile" infrastructures and services, i.e. those needed to deliver telematic services from the "piazza" to the doorstep in the center of a neighborhood or locality via "privatized highways" (free competition as regards both infrastructures and services).

A fundamental role is therefore to be played by state intervention (financing telematic connections between the TELEMATIC PIAZZAS and making premises available) so as to ensure the equitable distribution of the opportunities offered by the new telematic structures throughout national territory.

Public telematic piazzas and highways are necessary in that it is impossible in the absence of a collective public effort to create an Information Society that is cohesive, developed in all of its territorial components, and capable of penetrating all the different social levels, institutions and firms.

24 trillion lire to launch the network of TELEMATIC PIAZZAS

On the assumption that the creation of the network of Telematic Piazzas is launched in all Italian municipalities (numbering roughly 8,000), the following resources will be required:

- Buildings or areas requiring rehabilitation transferred to mixed management companies (indirectly financed by local authorities) to the benefit of the community as a whole

- Financing of urban reclamation and rehabilitiation of areas/buildings (an average of one billion lire per building/area giving a total of 8 trillion lire), thereby fostering growth in the building industry as well as environmental rehabilitation and reclamation

- Financing of technological infrastructures for premises (Local Area Network, multimedia stations, software, etc.) (an average of one billion lire per building, giving a total of 8 trillion lire), thereby stimulating the growth of the telematic industry

- Financing the development of applications and services to support the local economy and the drive for telematic literacy (an average of one billion lire per telmatic piazza, giving a total of 8 trillion lire), thereby fostering development in the services and training sector.

It will cost an estimated 24 trillion lire just to create and launch a Telematic Piazza infrastructure open to over 55 million Italians as well as millions of tourists in transit. The implementation of the infrastructure will be guaranteed by revenues from the sale of services (both at cost price and on the basis of value).

Start-up and management of the Telematic Piazza network

The LOCAL authorities (municipal, provincial and regional councils) will be responsible for laying down the following:

a) criteria for the selection of buildings or areas for rehabilitation to perform new functions of territorial development

b) the characteristics of the telematic network linking the different Telematic Piazzas

c) the technological standards and types of multimedia and telematic services to be provided by individual Telematic Piazzas on the basis of local needs, etc.

d) criteria for the management of Telematic Piazzas (territorial agreements, concessions and assignment of premises, mixed public and private organizations, etc.

e) guidelines for access to the public funds (from the European Union and Italian state) needed to create the various parts of the infrastructure (reclamation and rehabilitation of premises, telematic network to connect the Telematic Piazzas, installation of technological infrastructures in premises, development of new multimedia and telematic applications and services to support the local economy, etc.).


Teleautomobile Centers are public spaces evenly distributed throughout Italian territory in which 50% of the space is reserved for parking of privately owned cars and the remaining 50% for hiring out a fleet of TeleAutomobiles (equipped with car navigation system, gps, gsm, etc.) run by means of powerful info-telematic systems making it possible to book and hire vehicles throughout Italy with the greatest of ease.

The very fact of making public spaces available (e.g. on a concession basis) to firms or cooperatives that hire out vehicles and to the citizens that hire them could itself serve over time to stimulate a reduction of the "private car pool" (privately owned cars in movement an average of two hours a day and hence immobile 22 hours out of every 24 => auto-immobiles) and foster the management of "fleets of teleautomobiles for hire". These could also be smarter and more expensive that the present cars, and would be immobile only when undergoing maintenance, thus ensuring full exploitation of the great potential of telematic systems for the management of fleets of vehicles.

This constitutes one practical way to "dematerialize" the economy, i.e. to create a model economy for mobility based more on service than on raw materials, and to enjoy the same benefits as today but with far less consumption of raw materials.

We regard this as an obligatory choice if we are to avoid the prospect of still higher costs entailed by the consumption of territory for use as car parks, pollution, and the need for large-scale industrial plant not only to produce cars but also to scrap them (experts estimate that there will be over a billion cars to be scrapped in the world in the next thirty years).

The project outlined is thus of such scope as to require a plan of industrial reconversion to switch from the supply of privately owned cars to that of integrated and flexibility mobility services for hire.

Telematic technologies such as gps (global positioning system), cellular gsm, numerical cartography and fleet management systems would thus be used to operate the resource of "teleautomobiles for hire" in order to supply personalized mobility services and not as is already starting to happen simply as a way to equip auto-immobiles with a sort of electronic "safety belt" (tele-alarm / anti-theft devices).

Recapitulation of the advantages of

Telematic Piazzas and Teleautomobile Centers

Lesser degree of territorial consumption due to reclamation of disused industrial areas or premises and parking spaces for new uban functions providing all citizens with access to telematic systems and "teleautomobile" hiring services.

Reorientation of phenomena of mass consumption of material goods towards mass use/hire of material goods and services (e.g. collectively utilized telematic workstations and teleautomobiles) with high immaterial content (especially for goods that are used little with respect to their lifespan).

Self-regulation of uncontrollable phenomena connected with dispersed and casual forms of remote interactivity over metropolitan territory through the creation of Magical Points exercising a high degree of social and economic attraction. (For example, if 20 million Italians talk to one another via cell phone in the year 2000, it can be assumed that all these interactive remote exchanges of information or "virtual bits" could give rise to movement for "face-to-face" meetings with wholly unpredictable effects for the transport systems.)

Reorientation of present-day flows of traffic subsequent to the creation of neighborhood Telematic Piazzas and Teleautomobile Centers offering opportunities for teleworking as well as access to telematic services and the overwhelming majority of functions performed by the modern city.

Self-reorganization of the infrastructural and functional system of the territory as a whole.

Creation of points for the control and management of phenomena such as electromagnetic pollution, "global" e-commerce that cuts out "local" economic realities, etc.

Greater control over IT piracy (e.g. control over copyrights for the sale of music on-line) due to the fact that it is easier to devise "anti-piracy" systems for a limited number of Telematic Piazzas (about 20,000) than to control about 19,000,000 (roughly the number of Italian families) systems of access to household telematic systems (assuming there is no Telematic Piazza in the telematic city).

Less waste of electronic and other kinds with the same constant updating of technological infrastructures upon obsolescence.

Launching of a model of sustainable development and hence of new forms of employment conected with the "immaterial-dematerialized" economy, which will certainly produce less pollution than the economy linked to the production of material goods.

The two infrastructures entitled TELEMATIC PIAZZAS and TELEAUTOMOBILE CENTERS can also make a balanced contribution towards achieving three fundamental goals for territorial management:

1. economic and social cohesion

2. promotion and development of cultural heritage

3. more balanced competition all over Italian territory



The proposal to create an evenly distributed network of new infrastructures such as Telematic Piazzas and Teleautomobile Centers throughout national territory is designed to provide readers with food for thought as regards what concrete action can be taken to create a new development of economic-industrial, territorial and environmental development.

In an era of accelerated large-scale change due to the ultra-rapid spread of telematic networks (using fiber optics or radio transmission), if we are to survive in the global market competing not only on physical territory but also on "virtual" territory, we need practical and courageous ideas to accompany and facilitate transition from the so-called "Global Village" to "Glocal Villages" and create new development and employment opportunities in line with the requirements that have emerged over the last 20 years at conferences on the habitat (HABITAT I [Vancouver 1976], Earth Summit in Rio [1992-Agenda 21], and HABITAT II [Istanbul 1996]).

Glocal development is an obligatory choice for an increasingly densely populated planet (http://www.cronologia.it/popoli.htm), and even more so for countries like Italy, which have little "local" territory and can therefore be transformed into giants on the virtual territories of the "Global" village only by setting up a network of Telematic Piazzas, i.e. new ports making it possible to set sail towards the future with access to new and boundless virtual territories and the possibility of development and jobs for all.

We must, however, express one fear, namely that once the reading is over and we have plummeted back into everyday reality, the noble intentions that stir in our breasts at these moments of discussion on the development of society in the 21st century will be swept aside by the need to take the values and culture of the model of economic-industrial development of the Global Village as points of reference.

The two infrastructures of "Telematic Piazzas" and "Teleautomobile Centers" will only play a crucial role for glocal development and hence for a new model of development in a cultural context that is very different indeed from the present-day one. We must move from the culture of non-competitive ideas, the abuse of power and non-cooperation, a context in which the only winners are the masters of the robots, and hence ultimately the robots themselves, to a new culture based on competitive ideas and cooperation at the local and global level, a context in which it will be the whole of mankind that uses all the technological networks and manages the planets resources more efficiently thanks to global and local communication and cooperation.

Generative art and music for the "bitwattAGE"

from 1 BIT and 1000 black-WATT, to 1000 BIT and 1 green WATT

The development of the Information Society is urgently needed as a fresh source of employment, for an improved quality of life, and for the telematic industry.

I hope that all the participants at this second conference on Generative Art take into account my proposal to apply generative art and music to the "scenario of TELEMATIC PIAZZA and TELEAUTOMOBILE CENTER tech-nets", and also that they enjoy listening to the BIT & WATT song a techno dance for the BITWATTage pointing out how urgent it is to build a world where dialogue and collaboration can triumph so that BIT tech-nets are used to manage WATT tech-nets better.

BIT & WATT ®- a techno dance for the BITWATTage

In all eras and all parts of the world, the most advanced and most primitive populations have always sought the tools and technologies to obtain the best quality of life.

This has always depended, whatever the era, on the capacity to communicate in order to produce machines and tools to serve mankind, to use the resources available and the surrounding habitat to the best.

The relationship between information (the "BIT") and the power of technology (the "WATT") could, at this point in history, have a decisive impact on the quality of life.

BIT & WATT is a message that uses "coloured vocal metaphors" to recount in a "technological-musical" language, the historical phases of human progress:

"act locally" & think locally", "act globally & think locally", "act locally & think globally", with time echoed in the abbreviations: s (seconds), m (minutes), h (hours).

Thus, for example, the "red" "BIT h" metaphor represents the lifeblood that flows along the planet's information highways of the third millennium, the next frontier of human communication.

"WATT s" in green indicates the frontier of new capacity to design and create technological equipment (power installed: WATT) that works on clean energy and occupies less physical space, thus returning nature and green areas to man.

The technological-musical message is aimed at the "BIT h & WATT s" generation of GLOCAL (global/local) inter-actors and actresses: with its rhythms, colours and lights, it will be able to instill determination, energy and enthusiasm to build a world in which dialogue and collaboration triumph so that BITs are used to manage WATTs better.

BIT not to have more WATT, but BIT and WATT.

Inter-actors and actresses that act locally and think globally to the "rhythm" of the "BIT & WATT" dance, re-inventing the "rhythms" to build the world of "useful profits" instead of one of "futile returns".


a techno dance for the bitwattAGE, the age of the bit & watt tech-nets

by Giuseppe Silvi








































BIT s . WATT m






BIT s . WATT m
















BIT m . WATT h





BIT m and WATT h


















BIT h and WATT s






















BIO BIT and BIO WATT ad libitum....................





Techno-scientific and cultural association


e-mail: associazione@piazzetelematiche.it

The association was set up in 1993 with a view to generating awareness among central and local authorities, entrepreneurs, associations, free-lance professionals and citizens of the urgent need to promote the creation of networks of "Telematic Piazzas" and "Teleautomobile Centres" as indispensable national infrastructures to foster an environmentally sound model of economic and industrial development and assist in the transition from an industrial economy to a digital and communication-based economy.

The association works through individual members (university lecturers and professionals working in fields such as town-planning, telematics, information technology, socioeconomic activities and transport) and collective members of an institutional and industrial nature to carry out interdisciplinary research and studies in the following areas:

  • urban and territorial phenomena lending themselves to involvement in the transformation of cities into wired cities where the new telematic networks will make it possible to redraw the map of functional, organizational and administrative components with respect both to the traditional "centrality" of the historical city or industrial areas and to the undifferentiated fabric of the urban periphery and the departmental territories made up of small and medium-sized towns;
  • the planning required so that telematic networks can become a tool serving to restore balance between the mobility of people and the mobility of information;
  • the impact on mobility requirements and transport systems;
  • the impact on the environment and the quality of life.

The association seeks to foster the exchange of ideas and cooperation among all bodies involved in ongoing projects and activities concerned with the management of urban spaces and telematic services that can be encompassed in Pilot Schemes forming a useful point of reference for the definition of technical standards and quality requisites for the network of Telematic Piazzas under the name/seal of quality PIAZZE TELEMATICHE®


from the first initiatives to the Pilot Schemes

1982-1984 Infrastructure of self-service telematic services at a chamber of commerce

1986-1990 12 telecentres for journalists covering the 1990 Soccer World Cup in Italy

1993 Creation of the Associazione Piazze Telematiche (logo registered with the Patent Office of the Italian Ministry of Industry)

1994 Participation in drafting the Megaride 94 Charter for town planning in the 21st century Federico II University of Naples (Prof. Corrado Beguinot)

1994 - 1995 - Urban Utopias: new tools for the renaissance of European cities (U.E. DGXII European Conference Berlin 1995)

1995 Municipalities and IT networks: Piazze Telematiche PubbliSmau 95 pavilion (SMAU 95)

1996 Network of telematic piazzas ( HABITAT II - Istanbul 1996)

1996 From the city to the wired city ( Europolis 96 Bologna)

1996 Piazza Telematica - PubbliSmau96 pavilion (The Public Administration and the National System SMAU 96)

1996 - 1997 Collaboration with the Naples City Council Urban Pilot Scheme "A Network of Telematic Piazzas for the City of Naples"

1997 Feasibility study for a telematic piazza in the Municipality of Colleferro

1997 Mobility in the 21st century: virtual and physical (Motorshow 97 - Bologna)

1998 Telematic infrastructures and territory (Europolis 98 - Bologna)

1998 Launch of Urban Pilot Scheme in Naples (funded by the European Union - DG XVI)

1998 Launch of "Glocal Village" Pilot Scheme (Alteretto in Val di Susa)

1998 Signing of convention between the Associazione Piazze Telematiche and the UPI (Union of Italian Provinces) to develop projects for telematic piazzas in the Italian provinces

1998 Annual conference 8 October 1998 : "A network of telematic piazzas for development and employment" Conference;

1998 Mobility in the 21st century: virtual and physical (Motorshow 98 Bologna)

1999 Inclusion of PIAZZE TELEMATICHE projects in PRUSST ( Programmes for Urban Upgrading and Sustainable Development of National Territory) www.provincia.asti.it/piazzetelematiche;

1999 - Telematic Highways: public and privatized PUBBLISMAU99



techno-scientific and cultural association


Viale America, 11 - 00144 Roma

Tel.:06/54220449; fax:06/54229385 www.piazzetelematiche.it

e-mail: associazione@piazzetelematiche.it


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