As we enter a third decade of popular reckoning with the idea of networked computation, any notion of a divide between the physical and the virtual is proving less and less tenable with every passing day. Slowly at first, but with increasing momentum, the ordinary things and places that have constituted the cities around us since there were such things as cities are identifying themselves to the global informatic network, or being identified to it.
Real-world objects and arrangements of objects; structures and locations; events and situations: all of these are acquiring representations in the virtual space of the network.
As yet, by far the greater number of these representations are passive — descriptions, really. These descriptions leave the objects in question only the most limited ability to take account of one another, adapt to the circumstances of use, or otherwise respond to evolving conditions.