New cities are beginning to emerge in places where they were never imagined.
Some cities are emerging as a model for the rest of the world, others are taking the world by storm.
This episode features new cities, new tech and a special guest from New York City.
Hosted by Peter Kafka and Kara Swisher, this episode features a special look at the digital city and a conversation about how cities will evolve over the next several decades.
We also discuss what it means to be a new city in 2018.
This conversation will take you on a journey to understand the digital cities we are building.
You will find a full transcript of the conversation below.
Episode Transcript: What do cities need to do to thrive in the digital age?
Peter Kafka: What cities need?
They need to have the right infrastructure, the right incentives, the proper people, the correct technologies, the appropriate business model, and they need to be able to operate in a way that has an impact on the world around them.
Kara Swisher: Right.
So, the most important thing for a city is to have an infrastructure, and so I think a lot of cities are struggling right now to figure out how to build those infrastructure.
What I mean by that is how do you get the right people in there?
What are the people that are going to actually be able, at the right time, to have a real impact on building a city that’s really going to make a difference in the world?
Peter Kafka: Well, I mean, there are some cities that, like the cities in the U.K., where you have the most successful cities and they are all on top of each other and they have an economy, they have a kind of a super-rich, super-connected elite and they’re building a really strong infrastructure.
I think that’s the right place for a new technology.
And the problem is, a lot more cities have not been able to figure that out.
And I think the problem here is not technology but people in charge of infrastructure and people in power who are very well-connected, and the kind of people that get a lot paid to build the infrastructure.
And they’re not necessarily the kind that are the best at managing it, and it’s a problem that’s going to get worse as cities become more connected.
So, I think, like I said, cities are really struggling right at the moment.
And if you look at cities like New York, where I grew up and the people who run New York’s biggest city, it’s not like it’s any different from other cities in terms of the kind, I would say, of people who manage the infrastructure, I guess the most people who really run it.
And so there’s no question that if cities like that are not able to build this infrastructure, it will be difficult for the next generation of people to get involved in the cities that they want to be part of.
Kara Swishers: And, Peter, one of the challenges that cities have in the future is that they’re going to have to manage their power, and this will have an impact not only on people’s lives, but on the planet.
Peter Kafka : Right, yeah.
So one of these challenges is that there’s going be more and more power, so if you have a city like New Orleans, which is one of those cities where you’ve got a lot power in one place, you’re going be in a place where people don’t have the ability to communicate with each other, and that can be a really hard place to be.
And you know, it also means that the city’s going have to decide how to manage its power and how to be accountable for it.
But in some cities, like New Jersey, which has a very different kind of power structure, it could be the other way around.
So a lot cities that have a very powerful power structure in one part of the city are in a very weak position in other parts of the country.
And in some places, like Los Angeles, it can be very hard for people to be connected, and you’ve just got a city, like LA, that has a lot technology and a lot access.
And, you know…
Kara Swishes: It’s really hard to be in New York and have that kind of control.
Peter: I mean I think it’s very hard to have that in New Orleans.
I mean you’ve gotta have control over everything, you have to have enough power to be successful.
And it’s hard to do that in one city, and if you want to build something in New Jersey and you don’t really have the power to do it, you really can’t do it in New Angeles.
And that’s a very hard place.
Kara: Yeah, it is.
Peter is right.
And New York has a different kind in that it’s actually a city where the power is in one building,