How do you imagine the future of our cities? Flying cars like in 5th Element or maybe fully automatic car systems like in Minority Report? A lot of green spaces like on the Star Trek version of future Earth or maybe more like the dark, wet streets in Blade Runner? Will we live on a planet that resembles Star Wars' Coruscant city-planet idea or will it be something stick to our mix of urban and rural environments? Is something like Cisco's New Songdo in South Korea more fiction or reality? How would most people perceive IBM's Smart Cities plans? Currently, there is almost no topic discussed as intensely as the future of urban environments. No wonder, since studies show the projection that by 2050 almost 75 percent of the then 9 billion people on this planet will live in megacities. We want to compare the current developments with the ones we know from fiction, because we're highly influenced by those science fiction images that swirl in our heads.
co-founder of @thirdwaveberlin. knowmad. open technology advocate. i'm looking for patterns, mostly in cities. member of @cognitivecities & @berlinblase.
Jo Guldi is a professor specializing in the history of infrastructure at U Chicago and Harvard. Her forthcoming book, The Road to Rule (Harvard University Press, 2011), explains how states first paved their roads and strangers stopped speaking on the public street. It tells the story of how a libertarian revolution then destroyed public funding for infrastructure and ruined the economies of Ireland and Scotland. Her next project is a political history of land use and the environment since 1350.
She also teaches courses on the history of the internet and has organized collaborative laboratories for visualizing time with IBM and GoogleBooks.
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