Earlier this year, Carr and Hesse published, "Technocratic Urban Development: Large Digital Corporations as Power Brokers of the Digital Age," in Planning Theory & Practice, VOL. 23, NO. 3, 476–485
"Large digital corporations like [Amazon and Google] are forging their central position in cities by asserting themselves as the sole providers of so-called essential urban infrastructures, i.e. new technologies. ... In this paper, we reflect on ..[a] .time period of dramatic infrastructural change in North American and European cities, and highlight the similarity between patterns of urban development at that time and those we see today unfolding under the leadership of LDCs, [and reflect] on the similarities in behaviour and styles of urban governance. We recall the American “tech giants” of the early to mid-20th century in the north-eastern United States and how they pushed for a certain spatial development, which for some represented the height of state-of-the-art innovation and modernity at the time. Robert Moses was one such 'giant'.... ”
Read full article (open access) here.