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What makes a city a smart one?

There’s a lot of buzz around the idea of a “smart city.” IBM is involved. Cisco is involved. And so are many others. But what exactly is a smart city? 

In the Electric City talk below, Adam Greenfield provides his definition, while at the same time being critical of the ones we currently use today, such as this one: It’s the missing link – the connective tissue – between the real estate and technology sectors. (Personally, I find this definition really interesting.)

He also goes on to argue that the way we’re largely thinking about smart cities today is incorrect. We’re far too centralized and administrative in our thinking. Instead, we should be focused on leveraging the crowds of people in our cities that are now virtually all networked.

He then goes on to list 5 technological preconditions to any smart city:

  1. Broadband connectivity
  2. Low-cost smartphones or personal devices
  3. Commitment to open municipal data
  4. Cheap public interfaces
  5. Cloud computing infrastructure

If you’re interested in this topic, I suggest you watch his talk. It’s only about 10 minutes long. Click here if you can’t see it below.

Update: This post was revised to reflect the fact that Adam Greenfield is “sharply critical” of the real estate + technology definition of a smart city.

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