‘Smart Cities’ Book Author Says Cities Outsourcing their Brains


Anthony Townsend, leading urban visionary, futurist and author of an upcoming book called “Smart Cities,” tells National Public Radio that cities run the risk of “outsourcing [their] brains” when they rely on technology solutions such as cloud computing that may not be physically located within their borders.

Townsend also thinks that Rio’s much-heralded IBM-designed citywide nerve center is overrated because it mostly pulls together video feeds “in a central room.”

Despite the criticisms, Townsend is actually upbeat on the prospects for harnessing technology to reinvent cities. He just wants to foster awareness about the potential downsides. “There hasn’t been a really robust discussion about the risks,” he tells NPR.

NPR’s interview with Anthony Townsend

NPR: Excerpt from Smart Cities

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