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City of bits: young people, cyberspace and the city

Massey, Joanne (2009) City of bits: young people, cyberspace and the city. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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This paper aims to explore the relationship between young people, public space and cyberspace. There are arguably a group of people who have the ‘right’ to the city (Mitchell 2003) and young people rarely fall into this category. In the case of a group of young people congregating in the recently regenerated Millennium Quarter in Manchester (Massey 2007) they have had to legitimate their presence, by establishing a peer youth worker scheme. Mitchell (1995) states that civic legibility is eliminated in cyberspace. This indicates there is a distinct difference in terms of legitimacy in physical space and cyberspace. The specific question here is what are the differences between geographies of public space and cyberspace for the teenagers in question? It is anticipated that there is more freedom in cyberspace and that public urban spaces are more challenging and limiting for young people.

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