The ‘Smart City’ Movement

The introduction of new technologies into City Planning has allowed for better, faster, and more efficient public service delivery. This technology has so-changed how we manage and plan cities, we may be entering a new phase of urbanism: the Smart City Movement.


Two private companies leading the expansion of smart tech into our urban landscape are IBM and Cisco, and they are definitely evolving the field of planning into something new and exciting. One of the most intriguing solutions is IBM’s Smarter Cities model, a suite of tools used to improve our cities and how we live in them.


The City Dashboard

Big data has allowed for new insights into how things work and people interact with their cities. Here in New York City, initiatives like 311 have allowed for a nearly real-time, participatory understanding of ongoing urban issues. They have also created heaps of data which can be viewed across time, geography, or issue-type. But big data is only as good as its interpretation and use, and IBM has created a solution: the Intelligent Operations Center. Kind of like a video game control, but for real. Check out the video below:


ibm smart city

Participatory Tech


Another tool in the Smarter Cities suite is City Forward, a web-based platform which allows the public to hack the masses of big data which can now be produced at all levels of government. Watch a video introduction here:


ibm city forward


These new suites of software offer up exciting new examples of smart city planning and operations.





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