Short film captures the importance of 'thinking cities'

A new documentary explores how information technology is helping cities find solutions to complex global problems.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

"Whereas, on the one hand, the problems are generated in cities, the solution is going to be generated in cities. And therefore it is of great urgency that we understand cities in a profound and predictive fashion," says Geoffrey West, a theoretical physicist at the Santa Fe Institute, in a fantastic short documentary from Ericsson.

The film, "Thinking Cities," focuses on how cities are using Information Communications Technology (ICT) to start to come up with these solutions. It highlights interesting projects in cities like Boston, Seattle, and Stockholm where ICT is being used right now to address issues like waste, energy use, and civic engagement.

Check out the film:

As Mathieu Lefevre, executive director of the New Cities Foundation, says in the video: "The trend towards more ICT pervasiveness, being able to access the network anywhere in a city and objects being able to access the network, it's a game-changer for cities. It means that city dwellers can access information related to energy, water, city services, each other, crime, what's on at the movies, in a fluid way.

What's exciting is how ICT, or "thinking cities," can help us understand the urban world in ways that were impossible to know before. With this knowledge, the idea is to detect inefficiencies in our city systems in order to use less resources and make our cities run more smoothly. That's the goal anyway. Cities are still figuring out the best ways to use all the data that is collected with these new technologies, but it's encouraging to see the progress cities are making to find smart solutions to complex urban issues.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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