EuroWeb Plaza® is a Virtual European Market Plaza for SME's. The concept represents an Urban Management Tool for City Planners on the Information Highway. Some ideas from EuroWeb Plaza® have been implemented in Infocities' Electronic Commerce workpackage. In 1996 the Infocities Office partners Van Rossum Management Consultants and The Prize Consultancy won a EuroWeb Plaza® Exploratory Award under Esprit in the 4th European Union Research and Technological Development (R&D) Framework Programme for a proposal based on the "Tools" workpackage. That is the reason that we present this pre-Infocities Office idea on this Web site. The concept has not been tried out with city planners yet, and they are the target of "EuroWeb Plaza®". Please contact us if you are interested in this concept.|
The common problem in cities is that economic trends are generally difficult to influence directly, certainly in the framework of an urban policy. Where there is a need to influence the course of such trends in the cities it is generally through amenities policy. Opportunities for developing a distinctive profile have not been adequately exploited. While in the Information Society enterprises become more and more footloose, the solution will not be leading each city separately to the competitive edge but to develop a cohesive playing field on the level of the Single European Market, resulting not in a distinctive profile for cities separately, but in a distinctive profile of the co-operative network, using each others strong points and compensating each others weaknesses. The amenities policy have to be the key issue here, but re-engineered towards the requirements of the Information Business Society of the future.
Indeed, our main theme is the use of information technology for improved functioning and economic development in cities. This theme should not be mistaken for a target. The EuroWeb Plaza® is a social engineering platform. In practice the EuroWeb Plaza® will be an extension of the policy surface of cities. Real life problems that currently exist in cities will find solutions in the virtual playing field of the EuroWeb Plaza®. It may happen that real life problems get mirror images on the EuroWeb Plaza®. In those cases the virtual playing field can serve as a social laboratory. The technical abstract form that it will eventually take is a mere detail. In the beginning EuroWeb Plaza® will exist on the Internet. With time and technology progressing it will gradually move to a social environment on (what is generally called) the Information Superhighway. Again the Internet and the telematics technology are only tools to extend the surface of the seven partner cities.
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