Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia
An unflinching look at the aspiring city-builders of our smart, mobile, connected future from IFTF Research Director Anthony Townsend
Today, more people live in cities than in the countryside; mobile broadband connections outnumber fixed ones; and machines outnumber people on a new Internet of Things. In this era of mass urbanization and technological ubiquity, what happens when computers take over the city?
IFTF Research Director Anthony Townsend explores this question in Smart Cities, a broad look at the people and historical forces that have transformed the design of cities and information technologies. From the great industrial metropolises of the nineteenth century to today’s sprawling megacities, wave after wave of new technologies have been invented to address the proliferating challenges posed by human settlements of ever-greater size and complexity. As a new generation of technology barons, entrepreneurs, mayors, and civic coders try to shape our future, Smart Cities explores their motivations, aspirations, and shortcomings, offering a new civics for building communities: together, one click at a time.
More on the Future of Cities from IFTF
Anthony's book builds on IFTF's previous research about human settlement and links to our Technology Horizons Program's current research on Maker Cities—a look at how citizens are changing work, production, governance, learning, well-being, and their neighborhoods, and what this means for the future. How will individuals, grassroots efforts, and community groups use emerging technologies and work together to solve problems in your city? How will Smart Cities be Maker Cities? Visit makercities.net to brainstorm, discuss, collaborate, and engage with fellow citizens to make your city a Maker City.
Smart Cities in the News
- Is a city a tree? Foursquare and Urban Pattern Languages (Boing Boing)
- Tomorrow's Cities: What's it Like to Live in a Smart City? (BBC News)
- "The too-smart city" (Boston Globe)
- "Smart cities and smart citizens" (Sustain Magazine)
- "These 'Civic Hackers' Are Secretly Making Your Commute Better And Your Air Cleaner" (Business Insider)
- "Tomorrow’s smart cities" (Standard)
- "City Slickers: 5 Books About The Urban Experience" (NPR)
- "IASP, Anprotec, Sebrae e Porto Digital apresentam o maior evento sobre parques tecnológicos da América Latina" (Segs.com)
- "Mensajero del futuro" (El Pais)