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Smart Cities

Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia

November 2014

Our Retail Price:£12.99

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An unflinching look at the aspiring city-builders of our smart, mobile, connected future.

Today more people live in cities than in the countryside, mobile broadband connections outnumber fixed ones and machines outnumber people on a new Internet of Things. In Smart Cities Anthony Townsend explores the question of what happens when computers take over the city in this era of mass urbanisation and technological ubiquity, taking a look at the people and forces that have transformed the design of cities and information technologies. From the great industrial metropolises of the nineteenth century to today’s megacities, new technologies have been invented to address the challenges posed by human settlements of ever-greater size and complexity. As a new generation of technology barons, entrepreneurs, mayors and civic coders shape our future, Smart Cities explores their motivations, aspirations and shortcomings, offering a new civics for building communities.


“Townsend's interest in smart cities is more than merely technological: he offers an entertaining history of urban planning's visionaries and villains, the technological breakthroughs and the spectacular failures that brought us to this crossroads.” — New Scientist

“Anthony Townsend's terrific book looks at the historic relationship of urban and industrial development to new technologies.” — Architecture Today

“How tomorrow's open spaces evolve cannot be known but armed with this book, the reader will be bang up to date with who's who in the smart city boom, and what's happening where.” — Engineering & Technology

“... fascinating stories of urban renewal and innovation from around the globe and packaged... into lessons that are neat and digestible.” — Slate

Also By: Anthony M. Townsend View all by author...



140 x 211 mm • 416 pages


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