Dawn of the Smart City? Perspectives From New York, Ahmedabad, São Paulo, and Beijing (Report Launch) | Wilson Center
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Dawn of the Smart City? Perspectives From New York, Ahmedabad, São Paulo, and Beijing (Report Launch)

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Rapid growth and environmental change are creating new challenges for urban areas around the world. By 2050, as many as 7 out of 10 people on Earth will live in cities, with the vast majority of growth occurring in today’s developing countries

From climate change adaptation and crime prevention to the integration of new residents, much is being asked of municipal governments. At the same time, new technologies – from data collection and real-time monitoring to sophisticated “control centers” – are being developed that could transform urban decision-making and city management. Led by a cadre of information technology companies, the use of such technologies to help cities adapt to 21st-century challenges is called “smart cities.”

As part of a special collaboration between programs at the Wilson Center, we recently asked experts from New York, São Paulo, Beijing, and Ahmedabad about the ideas behind smart cities and the challenges their respective countries face.



Picture courtesy of flickr user Julio Boaro.


  • Blair A. Ruble

    Distinguished Fellow
    Former Wilson Center Vice President for Programs (2014-2017); Director of the Comparative Urban Studies Program/Urban Sustainability Laboratory (1992-2017); Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies (1989-2012) and Director of the Program on Global Sustainability and Resilience (2012-2014)
  • Alexandros Washburn

    Founding Director, Center for Coastal Resilience and Urban eXcellence (CRUX), Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Dhamodaran Ramakrishnan

    Director, Smarter Planet Solutions at IBM India/South Asia
  • Philip Yang

    President, URBEM
  • Jianming Cai

    Professor, Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)/ Coordinator of RUAF China, International RUAF Foundation
  • Allison Garland

    Project Director, Urban Sustainability Laboratory