What makes a city Intelligent? You Do.
For as long as we have lived in cities we have reflected on their form, feel, and function. From the launch of the first hot air balloon to the creation of geospatial information software, we have developed technologies that enable us to assess what we have done, what we are doing, and what we wish to do.
Today, the scale and complexity of neighborhoods, towns, and cities are unprecedented, and so are our tools for understanding them. Intelligent Cities, an initiative of the National Building Museum, supported by its partners TIME and IBM and funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, explores the intersection of information technology and urban design to understand where we are, where we want to be, and how to get there.
With contributions from experts in research, design, and technology, the Intelligent Cities book offers an interdisciplinary look at the complex relationship between city form and technology. This wide-ranging and readable book summarizes the National Building Museum’s year-long Intelligent Cities initiative, which was an exploration of how data and information technology impact the way cities look, feel, and function.
Award-winning, original infographics commissioned by the museum and thought-provoking essays enrich the discussion of new—and not so new—issues of technology and urban form. Intelligent Cities looks at the most ubiquitous of today’s technologies, such as the telephone and the computer, and offers new insight into their impacts on human settlement and society.
Reach out and call someone!
Researchers at MIT Senseable City Lab, AT&T Labs-Research and IBM Research have analyzed billions of anonymous connections from AT&T cell phone networks across the country—where people were calling from.
How did you choose your home?
Information surrounds us. With satellite global positioning technology we can see hot roofs, storm water run-off and where traffic is crawling. But there’s more. There’s a relationship between the health of our waterways and how we travel to work. There’s a connection between the size of our homes and how much energy we use. Intelligent Cities aims to reveal these connections, to make them visible and actionable...because informed people make better decisions.
What do you like best about your neighborhood?
Walking and biking to elementary school used to be common. Now, they're rare. What happened? We started building fewer, bigger schools between neighborhoods. We built new wide roads to reduce congestion on the way to school. We thought schools would be safer away from Main Street, with its sidewalks of commerce and distractions. We can see the consequences now, making connections between those decisions and rising health problems. With better information, can we make our neighborhoods intelligent? We can.
What connects you to your community?
People love to be with people. Fifty years ago people met at the corner diner, local church, or at a neighborhood block party. We still create networks at social clubs, places of worship, and neighborhood potlucks but we have now added virtual communities to that list as over 500 million people are on Facebook.
Even as electronic forums gain popularity, real places to gather remain important. How can we begin to visualize and cultivate these networks to make better cities? Connections define community: our physical and virtual networks connect us to each other and the places where we live.
What makes a city a city?
According to AAA, Americans spend on average $8,485 each year on their cars. Seems like a lot of money, doesn't it? And most of that money leaves your local economy. What if you were able to get rid of a car and spend-or invest-that money in your community and city?
Where does your water go?
Where does all the water go when it rains? Simple question, complex answer. We spend billions of dollars to construct ever larger sewer systems. And in a time of increasing droughts across the U.S. we flush more of our stormwater straight out into the ocean instead of capturing it. It turns out that how and where we build plays a key role.
INTELLIGENT CITIES IS A NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM PROJECT
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"
Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)
"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"
Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster
Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.
I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.