NEW YORK TIMES | Technologies have become more highly sophisticated than they were during Jane Jacobs time. And "smart technologies" such as smart power grids, cyber security and intelligent traffic and surveillance systems are being further developed to make our cities "smarter." Yet New York Times op-ed columnist Greg Lindsey considers, the smartest cities are the ones that embrace openness, randomness and serendipity, as Jane Jacobs herself observed. Can these characteristics be replicated by technology? Researchers seem to think so.

Towns like the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation in New Mexico will be built to test these new technologies, but they'll be build without human inhabitants. The city will be controlled by teams of programmers and engineers in a maze of underground control centers - similar to Disneyland, Lindsey comments. "The bias lurking behind every large-scale smart city is a belief that bottom-up complexity can be bottled and put to use for top-down ends — that a central agency, with the right computer program, could one day manage and even dictate the complex needs of an actual city," Lindsey says.

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