A Test City

Andrew Sullivan —  May 30 2012 @ 8:01am


One is being built in New Mexico. Its creators hope the functional but empty city "will be used to test everything about the future of smart cities, from autonomous cars to new wireless networks":

CITE will intentionally be an imperfect place, one where everything won’t always work properly, where researchers will find more frustration than they ever do in a lab. CITE will not be a "smart" city in the desert, as many planners and engineers may dream of constructing from scratch. "We’re a dumb city,” Brumley says, "and we bring smart technology to the dumb city, or the ‘legacy’ city, to see how its IQ can be elevated. If you think of it that way, 99.9 percent of all American cities are dumb–they’re all legacy."

And this, he says, is one of the big questions of our times: How do we effectively spend billions of public dollars needed to make our cities smarter, more efficient, and sustainable, if we don’t know for certain exactly which technologies will do the job? Those questions, he hopes, can be answered here.