Townsend to Speak About Smart Cities

Anthony Townsend
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Anthony Townsend

Author Anthony Townsend will speak about smart cities from 2-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in room 504 of the Arkansas Union. His talk, which is titled "Do Smart Cities Create Jobs? The Case for Digital Master Planning," is part of the Research and Innovation Speaker Series.

The following is an abstract of the talk:

In the last 10 years, urban innovation has emerged as a high-tech growth sector. The smart cities movement, originally organized around the notion of using digital technology to improve the efficiency of public infrastructure and help government be more transparent, is quickly becoming an important industry. What do cities and regions need to attract, create, and grow urban innovation enterprises? What kinds of collaborations are needed to deliver them? And what confidence do we have that these efforts will deliver the jobs hoped for? As cities face these questions, a new strategic practice known as digital master planning has become widespread in global cities. This talk will explore how it provides the ideas, processes, and implementation tools to deal with such challenges over the long term.

Townsend is an internationally recognized expert on urbanization and digital technology. He is the founder of Bits and Atoms, a smart-cities strategy consultancy and planning studio. His first book, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia was published by W.W. Norton & Co. in 2013. In 2001, Anthony co-founded NYCwireless, a pioneer in the community and municipal wireless movement.

The Research and Innovation Speaker Series is partially made possible by a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation.


Camilla Shumaker, director of science and research communications
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