TIME Magazine on Intelligent Cities


[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/18928155 w=400&h=225]

Intelligent Cities: Bill Saporito from National Building Museum on Vimeo.

TIME Magazine recently has been running a series focusing on intelligent cities, a topic we've covered several times here on The Global Mobility Report.  As a global news source with 25 million international readers, TIME attempts to capture breaking news but also large trends in culture and ways of life around the globe.  Therefore, the focus on intelligent cities serves as an indicator of the topic's growing audience and appeal.

The issue's articles focus a lot on particular examples -- places where elements of intelligent cities have already been implemented.  These places include the efficient and affordable transportation system of CuritibaStockholm's smart grid, and Kansas City as a laboratory for Google-provided high speed internet.  Bill Saporito, TIME's assistant managing editor (see video), also highlights some of the higher-level thoughts about intelligent cities: that they will be places rich in information, where all people have access to this information, and where information is separated from raw data systematically, avoiding the inefficiencies of "noise".

One of the most interesting things Saporito mentioned in the interview was his idea of why intelligent cities are so important: they provide the ability to plan ahead.  I hadn't thought of it in this way before, but what intelligent cities will do, if successful, is provide information to citizens (e.g. when is the next bus coming, when my water bill will reach $50 this month, how quickly will I burn through this tank of gas) that enables them to change their current behavior based on the future.  Intelligent cities will sort of institutionalize behavior change -- a subject policy makers, planners, elected officials and many others spend lifetimes trying to influence.

TIME has done a nice job aggregating the information on and examples of intelligent cities and I recommend checking it out.

- Terra Curtis

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