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Title: The Digital City: Smart Cities, Gigabit Cities & The Future of Urbanism
Authors: Chen, Sean
Advisors: Rossi Hansberg, Esteban
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: As the world rapidly urbanizes, humanity and society are also rapidly digitizing. What will the confluence of the two look like? The mass urbanization of humanity will create uniquely urban problems that policymakers must address. Of the myriad of tools which policymakers possess to address these problems, urban infrastructure stands out as one of the best. How can the digital revolution positively benefit urban infrastructure? How can it help cities connect to the information and knowledge economy? This question has spawned two potential urbanisms of the future: the Smart City and the Gigabit City. The Smart City uses ubiquitous computing to create efficiencies in urban management. Nowhere is this more apparent than in South Korea’s u-cities, the crown jewel of which is New Songdo City. But smart cities pose numerous problems and nations may be overinvesting in their hyperbolic promises. Overall, the technologies are too nascent while the theory has left important questions about privacy, democracy, and cyber security unanswered. The Gigabit City, on the other hand, promises economic growth through fiber to the premise (FTTP) and gigabit/second speeds. Google’s program in the Kansas City metro area has shown promises of growth to a once stagnating metro area. Policy makers can take interest as Chattanooga’s municipally funded and run fiber system has also led to economic growth. FTTP promises to make once industrial cities into gigabit cities that can connect to the knowledge economy. These new technologies promise an urbanism of the future that can lead to overall better quality of life and let cities thrive in the current global economic order.
Extent: 107 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2016

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