The Omnibus Roundup – Smarter Cities, Phantom Cities, Green Cities

Yesterday we joined business and tech leaders from around the world (we were a little under-dressed, to say the least) at IBM’s Smarter Cities forum. IBM’s President and CEO Sam Palmisano kicked things off by explaining why cities are a focus area within IBM’s broader Smarter Planet initiative. Sure, the world is smaller and flatter every day, let’s make it smarter too. With four billion cell phones, 30 billion RFID tags and two billion internet users constantly providing and collecting data, what happens when we apply analytics to guide more strategic resource allocation as our digital and physical infrastructures converge? IBM has a few ideas (and software platforms). But so did an extremely high-powered roster of guests including CEOs, CTOs, scholars, governors, senior policymakers, and mayors, leading off with… Mayor Mike.

Bloomberg used the occasion to announce the Connected City Initiative, a “series of technology programs to transform the ways in which New Yorkers can interact with – and expect the delivery of services from – City government.” The first of these programs is the NYC 311 iPhone App, which allows you to submit reports, along with pictures or video, of select conditions around the City to NYC 311 via your iPhone.

Speaking of iPhones, we already let you know that if you want to take the coolest tour of unbuilt urban projects around, you should hop on the Museum of the Phantom City bandwagon. But if you’d prefer to spend your Saturday touring some projects that are not only built but also setting a new green standard, then check out GreenHomeNYC’s Green Buildings Open House, which offers the public a unique glimpse at the inner workings and design details of exemplary green buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Guests will be hosted by the dedicated sustainability practitioners of these buildings, including expert architects, developers, engineers and owners, on a registered one-hour tour of the building. More information, a complete list of 2009 Green Building Open House sites, tour times and RSVP information is available at GreenHomeNYC’s website.

And then, no matter what you spend your afternoon doing, make sure it includes a stopover at the opening of THE DROP NYC: Urban Art Infill. It’s an art festival held in an 8,000 square foot space, with 30 artists involved, including Yoko Ono, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky). The festival is from 12 noon to 9pm and the exhibit will be open till October 17th. The official opening party will be under the High Line on 25th St. at around 6pm. Food trucks, cheap beer, DJs… it may sound like a regular party, but we promise there are some high-minded art and design implications, check out the full program for more details.


The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.