In the fashionable Poblenou district of Barcelona, hipsters and entrepreneurs rub shoulders with homeless people and immigrants, as the city authorities try to reduce digital inequality.

Posted on | By Sophie Davies

Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis attend their class to learn basic and advanced coding skills at the Re:Coded boot camp, in Erbil, Iraq, February 1, 2017.

The futuristic Media-TIC building is one of several venues around the city where disadvantaged people can sign up for free courses to improve their online literacy skills under a “Barcelona, Digital City” plan launched last year.

The programme, which runs until 2020, is needed because access to technology has become a “new source of social fracture” for cities in an increasingly computerised world, the council of Spain’s second-largest city said on its website. Initiatives are springing up around the globe to teach online skills, in an effort to smooth access to jobs and education, and integrate people better into society.

But questions are being raised about how well such schemes can reach those most in need.

In New York, thousands of kiosks offering free Wi-Fi are being rolled out across the city under the LinkNYC scheme to help people of all income levels go online.

Read entire article As the world goes digital, is there a hack for inequality? |

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