© 2004 – Routledge
The Opening of the Cybernetic Frontier is the third in-J. stallment in the Cities of the Prairie project. It completes an ongoing multi-generational, comparative study of ten medium-sized communities located in five Prairie and Plains states - Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado. This long-term study was initiated by Daniel J. Elazar in 1959 to develop a comprehensive theory explaining and forecasting the development of the civil community based upon the changing relationship between internal developments and external factors.In this new volume, Elazar and his colleagues trace developments in these communities during the 1980s and 1990s. The study examines how local communities function politically, socially, and economically, and then analyzes the impact that regional, national, and international trends and patterns have on local political systems in general and the cities of the prairie in particular. It revisits these communities at the dawning of a new frontier, the city-cybernetic frontier, which is characterized by a knowledge-intensive economic base made possible by computer and communication technologies. Changing technology has accelerated the settlement patterns that emerged after World War II. Ongoing population sprawl means that individuals are leaving the suburbs to live in the exurbs and beyond, creating a citybelt phenomenon that relies upon new technologies.