Contenu du sommaire

Revue Flux Mir@bel
Numéro no 1, janvier 1990
Texte intégral en ligne Accessible sur l'internet
  • Foreword - Gabriel Dupuy p. 3-4 accès libre
  • Networks : reminiscence and lessons - William L. Garrison p. 5-12 accès libre avec résumé en anglais
    The discussion and lessons stress network evolution topics because: 1. Network realizations are very much historic artifacts shaped by conditions at the times of their birthing, the technological, cultural, and institutional logics that steer them as they grow and develop, and interac tions with their environments. For networks, the "tooth and claw" of the marketplace is in the background rather than up front. 2. Insights about networks flow from playing with challenging but not intractitable puzzles; they are "fun" topics. 3- Because societies are energized by flows of mass and information, insights about networks have broad applicability. 4. It seems clear that the processes controlling network evolution and the relations between networks and development bear on my special interest, understanding and improving transportation technologies.
  • The politics of territorial networks policies: the example of videocommunication networks in France - Emmanuel Négrier p. 13-20 accès libre avec résumé en anglais
    The rise in power of electronic communications networks, audiovisual and telecommunications in France is based on a complex arrangement of actors on the local and national level. For the researcher, this rise raises the question of the relationship between networks and territories. Far from being regulated by a simple technical approach, this relationship brings to light a dialectics of territorialization. Within the context of the crisis of specialized executives in the area of public intervention (crisis of the State-nation, decentralization), this dialectic combines the heterogenous representations and practices of territories and the networks which structure them. The French "Plan-Câble" is a good illustration of this. As a result, the political and territorial dimension, far from being a negligible part of these technical projects, is in fact right at the center of network implantation. An analysis in. terms of territorial networks gives rewarding results.
  • The opening-up of networks: planning or competition in the telecommunication industry and other public utilities - Michel Gensollen, Nicolas Curien p. 21-42 accès libre avec résumé en anglais
    The present progress in information processing technology is having a drastic impact on the telecommunications industry: the switching of traffic in the network, which so far has been handled by the monopolies in charge of the infrastructures, is more and more directly operated by business customers and vendors of the so-called value-added services. A similar evolution can be observed in most networks: new firms operate as intermediaries between the end-users and the transmission or distribution facilities; they provide tailored services to the customers and set up discriminatory prices. Such a deregulation process accentuates the breaking-down of many public networks into two components: on the one hand, the network made up of the infrastructures, on the other hand, the command networks which monitor the former and use it as a support in the provision of differentiated services. Whereas the network of infrastructures is a natural monopoly, which should, however, be disciplined through the threat of potential competition, the command networks are likely to be offered on a competitive market; the latter should nevertheless be organized, if not planned, because of externalities such as security and compatibility.
  • Metropolis unbound: the new city of the twentieth century - Robert Fishman p. 43-55 accès libre avec résumé en anglais
    This paper argues that the late twentieth century has seen the emergence of a new kind of "network city:" neither urban, nor suburban, nor rural in the traditional senses, but combining elements of all three. Unlike an older city that occupied a definable space and had a clear center and periphery, the new city is defined by time rather than space. In the new city each citizen creates his or her own city out of the multitude of destinations that can be reached in a reasonable time by automobile. The new city thus corresponds to no particular space, but is formed by the overlapping journeys of the citizens. Moreover, there is no traditional center; instead, the urban functions are distributed among three overlapping networks: the household network composed of those destinations that support personal life; the "network of consumption" composed of shopping and leisure centers; and "network of production" where manufacturing and office services are performed. These networks do not sort themselves out into functional zones but juxtapose so that a huge corporate center might be bordered by small houses, and a massive "mega-mall set down next to corn fields. Having put forward a structure for the new city, I then consider whether this new urban form can attain the complexity, beauty and diversity of the great cities of the past, or whether it is doomed to be too dense to be efficient and too dispersed to be genuinely urban. I return to the great American prophets of decentralization from the 1930s, Frank Lloyd Wright and Lewis Mumford, for a vision of a decentralized city that is nevertheless capable of embodying the highest values of civilizations; and I attempt to show how the new city can be gradually re-built to reflect this vision.
  • "Leeches" in the electrical network : the crisis in the Buenos-Aires suburbs - Denis Cuigo p. 57-76 accès libre avec résumé en anglais
    Nearly all the inhabitants of Buenos Aires and its suburbs (Argentina) have electricity, but in most of the suburban neighborhoods, many of the users are illegally connected to the electrical wires which pass near their houses: these are the "leeches" in the network (los colgados). Following an ethnological study carried out in 1987 on the Buenos Aires electric company (SEGBA), this article presents the measures which have been taken to deal with energy fraud, and analyses modifications which have resulted in the operational logic of SEGBA and its interaction with customers. Territorial development in the areas concerned is also taken into consideration. Our purpose here is to try to elaborate an overall vision of the electrical company, taking into account the social context of the urban milieu and an institutional infrastructure which gives little autonomy to public enter-prises. The combined material here presented leads to a reflection on the relationship to norms, in the urban milieu and within the company. and its interaction with customers. Territorial development in the areas concerned is also taken into consideration. Our purpose here is to try to elaborate an overall vision of the electrical com- pany, taking into account the social context of the urban milieu and an institutional infrastructure which gives little autonomy to public enter-prises. The combined material here presented leads to a reflection on the relationship to norms, in the urban milieu and within the company.
  • City lights: the establishment of the first Swedish gas-works - Arne Kaijser p. 77-83 accès libre avec résumé en anglais
    The 19th century saw the successive introduction of gas, oil and electricity. These are all high-value energy carriers that can be used for essentially all purposes from lighting to domestic heating. Their first applications were within the field of lighting, partly because this was the application that offered the greatest potential for charging the most for each kwh delivered. These three energy carriers then subsequently found their way to other energy markets, where prices and quality requirements were lower. The introduction of new, high-value energy carriers to an energy market has generally given rise to a phase of intensive competition between traditional and new energy systems. The paper describes two of these struggles in Sweden - for the lighting market and for the cooking market - with particular emphasis on various means of competition employed by their representatives. One can speak of the "five P's": (technical) performance, pricing, propaganda, political power and paragraphs. The paper ends with a short discussion of the question of competition and monopolies in energy markets.
  • Technological networks and the American city: some historiographical notes - Mark Rose, Joseph W. Konvit, Joel A.Tarr p. 85-91 accès libre avec résumé en anglais
    The last two decades have witnessed the publication in the United States of a number of studies focusing on the relationship between the city and technology and the development of technological networks. Since 1970, this work has followed four principal approaches. The first approach consists primarily of studies that deal with one technology, such as transportation, sewers, and water supply rather than a cluster of technologies. These studies often explore the social impacts of the technology as if the city were malleable in form. The second approach assesses the development of structures in terms of their significance for urban space, with scholars examining particularly the evolution of materials, techniques, and styles that enabled builders to erect structures of greater size and specialization. The third approach deals with the interaction of technology, public policy and politics, especially in terms of the emergence of regulation. And, the fourth area of research explores the role of technology in the city-building process as a whole. Future work in this field will undoubtedly emphasize the interaction between technological, political and social history, as historians attempt to develop a more holistic picture of the role of technology in the urban context.
  • Resumés / Abstracts - p. 92-96 accès libre