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Information Technology and Regional Developments: promises and prospects
Environment and development in Ireland, University College Dublin, Ireland, 9-13 December 1991 We live in an age where all problems have a technological solution. We also live in the information age, where information is the modern currency of exchange. Small wonder, then, that the combination of the two into Information Technology, is a potent talisman indeed. Computers and telecommunications, in tandem, offer a powerful vision of the future. As a peripheral, and less economically developed, part of the European Community, Ireland is particularly interested in Information Technology. There is a concern that, especially as 1992 approaches, Ireland is becoming more peripheral to Europe, rather than more integrated into Europe. Irish and EC policy is concerned with both the fate of peripheral parts of Europe and the role of Information Technology in avoiding that fate. The following quote exemplifies this: "...information and communications technology essentially provide a means of communicating and processing information, [thus] the economic constraints imposed by geographical location which have characterised rural areas will become less significant. This will provide an opportunity for revitalizing economic activity in rural areas." (Commission of the European Communities 1989: 2)2 There is significant EC and Irish funding for investment in IT (e.g., STAR, Telematique, ORA, and RACE). It is hoped this will improve the economic position of Ireland, and especially the rural areas of Ireland. The decentralisation of bureaucracy, use of communications technology in tourism and agriculture, greater use of IT by small businesses, improved individual access to government services are all ways in which IT should make the Less Favoured Regions more economically viable. The vision of Ireland conveyed by IT is decentralized and environmentally friendly. Rural businesses mean lower population density and less congestion in urban areas. This reduces transport costs, reducing both the use of fuel for automobiles and trains and the consequent atmospheric pollution. Better yet, if one can work at home, it also means less office construction. With fewer offices, there is less energy wasted heating those offices, less space needed for car parking, less demand for public transport, and so on. The growth of cities can be slowed, and rural areas can be maintained. We can be 'green' and 'new age' and still have jobs as well.
Keyword(s): Regional development; Ireland; Information communications technology (ICT); Rural; Peripheral; Remote
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Dublin
Publisher(s): The Environmental Institute, University College Dublin
First Indexed: 2019-05-11 06:31:06 Last Updated: 2019-05-11 06:31:06