[vimeo 15596951 w=400 h=225]

Intelligent Cities from National Building Museum on Vimeo.

Intelligent Cities, an initiative of the National Building Museum, supported by its parters TIME and IBM and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, explores the intersection of information technology and urban design to understand where we are, where we want to be, and how to get there.” I came across this initiative through a classmate who uses our department’s listserv, perhaps more than any other, to spread information about urban planning and tangential topics.  The project will gather information from the public and study city-related data and information to establish three basic conclusions: ‘how have we done things in the past?’; ‘what are we doing now?’; and, ‘how can new technology help us make better decisions in the future?’

Their basic mantra is that each of us, individually, makes cities intelligent.  This philosophy is highlighted through a series of polls available through the project’s website, which essentially test citizens’ knowledge of their community.  I took the most recent poll, dealing with water systems, and must admit that had I not recently toured my town’s water treatment plant with some classmates, I would have known very little about this aspect of my community.

It will be interesting to follow this project over time.  Not only will visitors to the National Building Museum in Washington, DC benefit from the information they gather.  If the initiative is a success, it will truly leverage social media and information technology to spread information about social media and information technology to others – what a concept.

-Terra Curtis