The documentary ‘Thinking Cities’ deals with one of the most dramatic societal trends happening today: urbanization. The world population is expected to soar to more than 9 billion people by 2050, with roughly 70 percent living in cities. At the same time, Information Communications Technology (ICT) is extending its reach.
Focus is on the science of cities. Cities concentrate everything, both good and bad. ICT pervasiveness is the game changer. ICT is like water, but carries intelligence. Mayors — not Governors, Prime Minsters, or Presidents — are the center of gravity for achieving 21st Century hybrid governance. Urban Mechanics and Participatory Urbanism are emerging. Apps now available for citizens to report anything from potholes on, while optimizing city respopnsiveness to those reports in the aggregate. This is not just about efficiency, it is about rebuilding trust with the citizens. At the same time the new approach enables bottom-up resilience — solar collected at the house level feeding the grid, for example.