Smart Cities

July 27, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 27
Are futuristic metropolises good investments?
By David Hatch


Songdo, South Korea, rises in Incheon on land reclaimed from the Yellow Sea (Reuters/Incheon Free Economic Zone/Handout)
Songdo, South Korea, rises in Incheon on land reclaimed from the Yellow Sea. The New York developer of the project, dubbed the Atlantis of the Far East, says the planned city of 65,000 residents will be among the world's greenest and most technology-rich urban centers — and a model to be replicated worldwide. (Reuters/Incheon Free Economic Zone/Handout)

Across the globe, major tech companies and multinational developers are pouring billions of dollars into building futuristic “smart cities” designed to showcase cutting-edge infrastructure and architecture — and serve as models for new cities worldwide. From self-sustaining energy systems and driverless vehicles to software that runs metro areas like operating systems run computers, emerging cities in India, China, South Korea and elsewhere are introducing technology that backers say can reduce common urban problems such as pollution, crime and congestion. For cities to survive and grow, they contend, society must reinvent them. But critics question whether building new metropolises is wise when existing ones need attention. No smart cities are being built from scratch in the United States, but smart-growth strategies designed to make existing communities more livable are taking root from New York to Kansas.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jun. 04, 2021  Rebuilding America's Infrastructure
Aug. 21, 2020  Economic Clustering
Nov. 01, 2019  Caregiving Crunch
Jul. 27, 2012  Smart Cities
Apr. 09, 2010  Earthquake Threat
Apr. 2009  Rapid Urbanization
Jun. 23, 2006  Downtown Renaissance Updated
May 28, 2004  Smart Growth
Oct. 03, 1997  Urban Sprawl in the West
Mar. 21, 1997  Civic Renewal
Oct. 13, 1995  Revitalizing the Cities
Jun. 09, 1989  Not in My Back Yard!
Apr. 28, 1989  Do Enterprise Zones Work?
Nov. 22, 1985  Supercities: Problems of Urban Growth
Jul. 23, 1982  Reagan and the Cities
Nov. 18, 1977  Saving America's Cities
Oct. 31, 1975  Neighborhood Control
Nov. 21, 1973  Future of the City
Feb. 07, 1973  Restrictions on Urban Growth
May 20, 1970  Urbanization of the Earth
Nov. 06, 1968  New Towns
Oct. 04, 1967  Private Enterprise in City Rebuilding
Feb. 10, 1965  Megalopolis: Promise and Problems
Mar. 04, 1964  City Beautiful
Aug. 21, 1963  Urban Renewal Under Fire
Jan. 21, 1959  Metropolitan Areas and the Federal Government
Jul. 30, 1958  Persistence of Slums
Dec. 09, 1953  Outspreading Cities
Nov. 22, 1952  Slum Clearance: 1932–1952
Jan. 14, 1937  Zoning of Urban and Rural Areas
Regional Planning and Urbanization