Tech Cities: We're Not There Yet

Technology has the potential to dramatically change cities, but we're still at the "shallow end" of understanding how to use it to make a difference. The US could take a cue from rapidly urbanizing cities in Asia, says Brooking Institute's Bruce Katz.
Monday, November 19, 2012 01:00 EST | 8
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11/22/2012 5:08:26 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Changing a Tire on a Moving Car
What would / should We do differently IF we had a completely "clean slate?"

11/19/2012 6:58:26 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Changing a Tire on a Moving Car
@tbulone, your right. Urban planning can sometimes be like hurding cats. Trying to get commecial entities to share the cities vision, or getting the city to have a vision can be a real challenge. It requires a lot of hard work developing public/private partnerships.

It is a rare situation where either the city or private entity can start from scratch wiith a clean slate. It would be nice if they could. Imagine what we could do if we had a completely clean slate and the money to be creative.

11/19/2012 6:17:44 PM
User Rank Blogger
I am always amazed at the speed of emerging economies and their ability to see where they can advance the city. Technology is key yes. We need to think of technology like the emerging economies, as a 'thing' to be taken advantage of and not just a thing to admire. How will we compete with developing countries that can so easiy build new infrastructure fast while we in the West ponder slowly about how to retrofit to aging buildings and infrastructure. We need to innovate quickly.

11/19/2012 6:06:44 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Tech Cities
Interesting post, especially about the possibilities of cities learning from each other, rather than countries, and also that there may be cities in the developing world who are using technology to leapfrog, in progress terms, cities in the developed world.

11/19/2012 1:31:39 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Changing a Tire on a Moving Car
Bruce is absolutely right, particularly in the areas of transportation and energy efficiency.  A lot of cities seem to think going high-tech means having a Facebook or Twitter account.  It's a lot more challenging to change a well-established urban area than to "get it right" from the beginning in a new growing urban area - sometimes it's like trying to change a tire on a moving car.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/19/2012 10:59:08 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: A lot to learn
Thanks, wbalthrop. I'm so glad to hear you say that, since that's our goal as well! With such a mix of individuals from all over the globe, I imagine we'll succeed in doing just that. I think the shared learning has already been fantastic.

11/19/2012 10:57:43 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: A lot to learn
Spot on Nicole. That is exactly the service I see this forum serving. There are a lot of innovative people out there doing some really cool things. The more we share that information, we increase the odds that the "coolness" will spead to other cities.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/19/2012 9:05:07 AM
User Rank Staff
A lot to learn
Another insightful video blog, Bruce. I agree that cities are just coming to grips with how to understand and effectively use technology. We have a great blog post up today from the Mayor of Asheville who has written about using data to more successfully respond to and prevent fires. It's great to see progress here, and I think the more cities worldwide can share their knowledge and lessons learned, the better off we'll all be.

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