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Feb 15 2016

Salt Ideas Essay #7: Some Day Your City Will Be Smarter Than You

As the planet’s growing population flocks to the city, we need urban areas that are both smarter and more sustainable. By Stanley C. Gale, the brains behind the world’s first smart city.

Urbanisation is a global trend defining the lives of billions in the 21st century. According to the World Health Organisation, city dwellers in 2014 accounted for 54 per cent of the total global population, a dramatic increase from 34 per cent in 1960, and that percentage continues to grow. More than one billion people have been added to urban areas globally since 2000. It is estimated that by 2050, over 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities.

The impact of climate change and other significant environmental, economic and societal issues adds to the challenge of keeping our cities manageable and governable, while threatening their health and vibrancy. As we look to improve the future prospects for cities, how can we more effectively organise urban living for the best outcomes? How can we ensure, in fact, that cities have a future?