ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Urban Planning, Gazvin Branch, University of Islamic Azad University, Gazvin, Iran.

2 Faculty of Urban Planning, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Faculty of Art & Architecture, University of Tarbiat Modares , Tehran, Iran.



- The development of information and communication technology is an important change that causes paradigm shift in urbanism.
- The COVID pandemic emphasizes the importance of information and communication technology.
- This study seeks to trace urban studies on information and communication technology and the COVID pandemic and provide appropriate data and knowledge for urban policy-making and future studies.
The advent of the information age in the 20th century due to the great changes in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) has led to the prevailing approach to maximizing the solution of urban problems for advancing urban planners, designers, and policy-makers. The rate of growth and extensive development of urban studies has provided a wide range of interactions between its different sections. Coinciding with its growing trend, the corona virus has been spreading around the world since December 2019, re-examining the role of ICT.
Theoretical Framework
There is a lack of domestic research on ICT and the city. Given the existence of the gap and the importance of considering the area in urban studies, the purpose of this article is to identify, extract, and provide an interactive research space between the development of ICT and the subfields of urban studies in order to introduce and classify topics, approaches, methods, and results.
Using the method of systematic review, the content of published foreign scientific research was reviewed and analyzed. This was carried out with a search for valid articles, a study of the abstracts and research results of more than 150 articles and their review, and a final selection of 93 articles after entering them into the Excel software environment.
Results and Discussion
The selected articles have been published in English in the period of 30 years between 1990 and 2020. Monitoring, examining, and extracting the key themes of the articles led us to 8 categories, including 1) urban policy, 2) electronic participation, 3) smart city, 4) city structure and spatial organization, 5) travel behavior, 6) digital gap, 7) public space, 8) and competitiveness, and 30 sub-themes. About 90% of the articles have been published in reputable scientific journals, and the rest appear in books and conference proceedings. An examination of the frequency of articles shows the growing worldwide trend in concern for this field in urban studies in recent years. According to the analysis made in the research, the use of ICT is applicable to planning theories at all levels, including the two levels of access and data processing and communication independent of time and place. These technologies enhance and promote the development of networks, social cohesion, and smart development of the city. The digital gap is intrinsically related to digital and urban inequalities. In network-oriented cities and societies, the issue of communication poverty is as important as traditional poverty. Many discussions have been raised by researchers on the impact of ICT on the structure and spatial organization of the city. Despite the initial premise of using the technology, which was to reduce concentration and increase urban dispersion, two more approaches, the centralization approach and the dual approach, have also been proposed in the field. The development of ICT has profound consequences on urban economic competitiveness. ICT is the basic driver for smartness in cities. A provider of access to the transfer of information and planning tools, granting the opportunity to share modes of transportation and work from a distance, the technology is of considerable importance for transportation systems. The relationship between the urban public space and technological developments and the development of ICT with the spread of the corona virus has been taken into consideration. Recent studies show that the spread of the corona virus has multiplied the use of ICT, which will definitely change the severity of its impact on the city and urban planning and design more rapidly. Therefore, this article is presented in order to explain the various dimensions of this issue.
Given the application of ICT in the field of urban planning, it is comprehensible that the creation of links with urban planning and design has proceeded slowly despite the increasing development of telecommunication technologies. It is necessary to consider the complex relationship between the city and ICT. On the one hand, the relationship has raised the challenge of polarization, inaccessibility, and urban injustice, and on the other hand, it has involved benefits such as increased participation and social networking, urban innovation and creativity, and urban sustainability and intelligence. In fact, it is necessary to fill the gap between ICT and urban planning. The central solution framework of the smart city is based on the city rather than intelligence. One of the most important challenges discussed in the previous studies is the issue of accessibility among different social classes. In spite of the initial hypothesis that the importance of place is reduced as that of distance decreases due to the development of ICT, place still matters. The point to be considered in regard to the relationship between the density and spread of the corona virus is the absence of a direct relationship between its population density and death. In fact, the ever-increasing development of ICT and the persistence of policies of closure and maintenance of social distancing during the pandemic are themselves factors effective in the development of digital facilities and technologies in the city. Urban spaces are changing and transforming due to the development of new technologies. In fact, the urban space paradigm established in 2020 promises the emergence of virtual open spaces. Future studies will be focused especially on an understanding of the shift towards the digital space and the emergence of a combination of the real space and the virtual space in developed countries. Moreover, it is necessary to know the social dimensions of urban spaces according to the conditions imposed by the corona virus in order to understand the type and method of changing the shape of the public space of the city and social interactions. Finally, the study and review of the valuable articles published in the area of ​​the interface between the city and ICT has raised wide, diverse issues that require familiarity, mastery, and theoretical specialization besides their practical applications for policy-makers, planners, and urban designers and managers.
The Article has been derived from the Ph.D thesis entitled “The Impact of Information and Communication Technology and the covid Pandemic on Urban Studies: A Systematic Review”, which has been defended by first author under the second author`s supervision and the third author`s advisory at the Qazvin Branch Islamic Azad University.


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