The Generative City | Urban Solutions (Feb 2013)

By Ayesha and Parag Khanna In recent years, ‘smart cities’ have risen up the agenda as demonstration projects for sustainability and showcases for innovation in new industry clusters. At the same time, there is a growing realisation that most cities coping with rapid urbanisation, ageing infrastructure, and scarce finance struggle with the enormous challenge of retrofitting and modernising in an affordable manner. For both old and new cities, technology is only part of the solution; policy matters just as much.

As the price of technology falls, sensors become increasingly ubiquitous, and data analytics widespread, what will increasingly differentiate cities is not how ‘smart’ they are in terms of technology penetration, but the extent to which they leverage technology to bring about innovation, sustainability and inclusiveness.

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