As part of The Economist's "Digital Cities Index 2022", we provided strategic insight on what's working, and what isn't, in the smart cities movement.
"To counter the threat of top-down digital technology imposition, cities are realising they need to engage with all their constituents. Anthony Townsend, Urbanist in Residence at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Urban Tech Hub, speaks about a shift from 'optimisation to
engagement' in which the first generation of smart city approaches led by the likes of IBM, Cisco and Siemens focused on top-down, efficiency-oriented applications, and has been superseded by a more democratic approach that recognises diverse perspectives and needs."
Self-repairing roads and sewers. Forests and farms inside buildings. Software that follows our instructions rather than following us around. These are just some of the possibilities and pitfalls for urban tech in the decade ahead. This site is a kaleidoscope…
BusWatching is a micro-publication highlighting the thinking and work of a bus data working group we've been building at Cornell Tech throughout 2020–2021, continuing into 2022.
Last June, we struggled to find a space to talk about the future of autonomous vehicles amidst so many urgent and important conversations. But one opportunity, the BBC's remarkable Rethink podcast, arrived on our doorstep in early July.
This paper is the first output from our ongoing work with the Urban Tech Hub @ Cornell Tech, and identifies key ethical dilemmas shaping the future of networks, sensing, and computation in cities. This discussion paper explores the emerging territory…
We were delighted to participate in a fascinating new study by longtime collaborators Lean Doody and the team at Arup on “workplacemaking”, a new approach to designing and managing distributed work in the post-pandemic city. See the report, Making Place:…
There's a nice writeup of Ghost Road by one of my favorite business writers, James Surowiecki, in this year's list of best books on technology and innovation in Strategy + Business, the PwC magazine.
Rather than rushing out with a perspective early on in the pandemic that I’d later regret, I decided to wait and see how things shaped up. Finally, in late October 2020, I had a chance to reflect in Nautilus (article)…
As part of a larger effort to reset the global conversation about technology platforms and power, we developed a set of three scenarios that explore how consumer cooperatives, maker collectives, and national postal systems can rewrite the future of last mile delivery systems as a tool for wealth development rather than wealth extraction.
For decades we have tried to build a car that will drive itself. Anthony M. Townsend’s Ghost Road argues convincingly that the driverless car is a red herring. When self-driving technology infects buses, bikes, delivery vans, and even buildings, a wild, woollier, future awaits.
The world's cities have had a look at the future of automated vehicles. What have they seen?
The oceans are at once an exploited and under-developed resource, a mysterious territory put to use with the most primitive of technologies. As part of our growing partnership with Boston-based bluetech startup platform SeaAhead, we worked with the University of…
Does "strategic retreat" make more sense than defending coastal cities from rising seas?
Urban futures take shape as a deck of tarot cards, letting stakeholders build their own insights on what's to come.
From 2009, a spot-on view of the future of the workplace in 2020.
A new tool—the big data maturity model—can help cities think strategically about data-driven innovation.
Are Uber, WeWork, and AirBnB too big to fail?
How can cities harness AVs to solve pressing mobility challenges? What kinds of pilots can they undertake, and how should they run them?
¿Qué ocurrirá cuando los vehículos autónomos (AVs) sean usados alrededor de todo el mundo?
What is driving the development of self-driving technology? How and when will it show up in cities? What can we do about it?