We have an opportunity and a need like never before to deploy smart digital infrastructures that can transform our nation and spur global economies.
Over the next ten years, 700 million people will be urbanized. Three billion will be connected to the Internet for the first time, and 100 cities will be built, each to accommodate more than a million people.
Whereas approximately half the world’s population lives in cities and towns today, by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban dwellers.
This adds up to an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in a new technology infrastructure that will deliver more sustainable, livable cities—the opportunity Rik Kirkland, Stewart Brand, Saskia Sassen and I will discuss during our “Cities as Solutions” panel at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, Calif. this week.
The good news is that many of the networked economy technologies that can deliver these more sustainable cities and services are already within reach.
Cisco’s work in Northern Ohio is a great example. Together with OneCommunity we’re applying technology to transform the region with dynamic citizen and government programs that improve workforce skills and citizen safety, and deliver online healthcare, education and community services.
Gale International’s Songdo City in Korea is another great example of what’s possible. The new city was LEED-certified from the beginning and will emit a third of the greenhouse gases of a typical city of its size.
Northern Ohio and Songdo are simply showing us what is possible. Our role at Techonomy is to extend that vision to a truly global audience.
Padmasree Warrior is Cisco's Chief Technology Officer.