Originally posted on TED Blog:
Saskia Sassen thinks deeply about the world’s cities, and she’s on the TED stage to share some of her provocative theories about how we should think about urbanizing technology, that pervasive force that has impacted so much of the way in which we live and work.
She starts by pointing out an amazing fact: there are firms that will lease you a city. And those cities are highly technologized. She’s worried about that. But Sassen isn’t here to get under the skin of engineers. The author of books such as Cities in a World Economy and The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Sassen is a technophile. Her point is more subtle: that while technologies become obsolete, our cities endure for centuries. As such, how can contemporary policy makers balance the lure of the new with the extended pressures of the long-lasting. In other words, are the “intelligent” buildings we celebrate today really as smart as we think they are? A bold idea to announce to a room full of geeks.