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When Computers Take Over The City

Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 6:00pm
This event is by invitation only.

About the Event

In our mega-urbanized, mega-digitized world, cities around the globe are deploying technology to address both the timeless challenges of government and the mounting problems posed by unprecedented urbanization. In Chicago, GPS sensors on snow plows feed a real-time "plow tracker" map that everyone can access. In Zaragoza, Spain, a "citizen card" can get you on the free city-wide Wi-Fi network, unlock a bike share, check out a library book, and pay your bus fare. In New York, a guerrilla group of citizen-scientists installed sensors in local sewers to alert you when stormwater runoff overwhelms the system, dumping waste into local waterways. As technology giants, entrepreneurs, mayors, and an emerging vanguard of civic hackers are trying to shape this new frontier, urbanist Anthony Townsend considers the motivations, aspirations, and shortcomings of all who are building the future one click at a time.

About the Speakers

Dr. Anthony Townsend (@anthonymobile) is an urban planner and forecaster whose writing, public speaking, activism, and consulting focus on urbanization, ubiquitous computing, and technology-led innovation and economic development.  He is Senior Research Fellow at New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation and Affiliate at the Silicon Valley-based Institute for the Future. Anthony was co-founder of NYCwireless, a pioneer in the community broadband movement, and was named one of Planetizen’s “Leading Thinkers in Urban Planning & Technology” and “Top 100 Thinkers” tracking the Internet of things by Postscapes. His first book, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia is published by W.W. Norton & Co.

Greg Lindsay (@Greg_Lindsay) is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute and director of the Emergent Cities Project, which seeks to activate resilient urban spaces in the economically troubled and shrinking cities of the West using lessons from emergent cities in the developing world. Greg is co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, a critically acclaimed study of globalization and mega-urbanization.  He is a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, a contributing writer for Fast Company, an affiliate researcher at the New England Complex Systems Institute, and a two-time Jeopardy! champion (and the only human to go undefeated against IBM’s Watson). 

About the Sponsors

A center for global thought leadership, the World Policy Institute is uniquely focused on the crucial but neglected challenges and opportunities of an increasingly connected world. We stress innovative, transformative thinking; diversity of ideas, and a global perspective. World Policy Journal, fellows, events, and policy projects, provide channels for supporters, thought leaders, decision makers, experts, and citizens to identify, debate, and develop constructive solutions. 

YPFP fosters the next generation of foreign policy leaders by providing young professionals with the knowledge, skills, exposure, and relationships to tackle critical global challenges over the course of their careers. YPFP is a community of promising young professionals with diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, all of whom are bound together by an interest in addressing global challenges, serving the public through ethical leadership, and engaging in informed, constructive, nonpartisan discussion of international affairs.  

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