smart city | dumb city: our SXSW proposal

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So, you hate the NSA collecting information about you. And you hate when brands track your purchases to sell you more stuff. But do you hate the idea of a smart city? Smart cities, with their intelligent urban infrastructures, promise greater civic participation, reduced waste, less traffic and a more capable government. But what are citizens sacrificing in return? How much do we want our cities to think for us? And are there benefits to dumb cities and their inconveniences? In this battle-it-out presentation, Marissa Gluck and Christine Outram will fight to the finish about whether intelligent urban infrastructures are really capable of creating more livable, sustainable and economically viable cities. Christine, will play the role of techno-determinist, convinced of technologies ability to improve our cities, without eroding civil liberties. Meanwhile, Marissa will play devils advocate, arguing that these new technologies will erase privacy, chance, serendipity and the beauty that comes from reduced automation and control.


  • 1. SMART CITIES:How smart is too smart?! MARISSA GLUCK " Director, Huge Ideas, HUGE | Co-founder, DeLabCHRISTINE OUTRAM " Senior Inventionist, Deutsch LA | Founder, City Innovation Group

2. #smartcitydebateJOIN THE CONVERSATION: 3. SO TELL ME:What makes a " city smart? 4. Is it this? 5. Or this?IMAGE: GAFFTA.ORG 6. Or could it even be this?IMAGE: DREAM HAMAR 7. Perhaps, it is about all of these things, and how smart phones, sensors, big data and the like, are supporting or hindering our civic ambitions. 8. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.BUT WE MUST ALSO REMEMBER:MARSHALL MCLUHAN, PHILOSOPHER, FUTUROLOGIST AND MEDIA PIONEER 9. WHICH LEAVES US WITH THE QUESTION:How will these new tools and devices that aim to automate, optimize, include or educate fundamentally change civic life? 10. And are there any benets to the dumb city and all its inconveniences? 11. Lets Duel 12. IN THE LEFT CORNER:IN THE RIGHT CORNER:Cities are broke. Using technologies to automate and optimize our city systems makes good nancial sense.We have entered the measured era the more technology we use, the more we can measure and the more we can adapt to our ndings and make better decisions.New technologies connect us to our interests, our surroundings and other people like never before.We are on the verge of a new architectural language: buildings can build themselves, spaces can speak back, and information can integrated into our surroundings, when and where we need it.Optimization and efciency is ne, but what about civil liberties? Do I want to be tracked and recorded?Not everyone has access to the same tools and devices. When we make decisions based on data, we are missing out on a representative voice.Where did serendipity go? Should I only be making connections if it is mediated through technology? A Minority Report world could suck. If technology will be integrated into our surroundings, we must get the user experience design right.THE DIRECTOR, HUGE IDEAS! ! MARISSA GLUCK " Director, Huge Ideas, HUGE +Journalist, Researcher, City LoverFounder of DeLAB (Design East of La Brea)Alumni of USC Annenberg School of CommunicationsTHE INVENTIONIST! ! CHRISTINE OUTRAM" Senior Inventionist, Deutsch LA +Creative Technologist, Architect, City LoverFounder of City Innovation GroupAlumni of MIT 13. Who won?Whos next?TELL US:#SMARTCITYDEBATE | @CITYINNOVATION | @MARISSAGLUCK