When it comes to technological innovation and inter-city rail, for example, “we’re not only behind Asia and Europe, we’re behind Morocco,” said RPA president Robert Yaro, in a session moderated by Nick Thompson, senior editor at WIRED magazine.
Some recalcitrance has to do with concerns about privacy, security cameras and electronic tracking. Politics has also kept New York from instituting congestion pricing in Manhattan similar to the system used now in London, enforced with transponders and cameras. Chicago brought in a private company to allow the use of mobile devices to tell riders about the arrival of buses, but the New York system has yet to make that move.
After hearing from green-building leader Bill McDonough and White House urban affairs office director Adolfo Carrion, the gathering examined smart transportation and urban mobility, green infrastructure and the environmental management of metropolitan areas, technology and civic engagement and community design, energy distribution and a “smart grid,” the future of inter-city transport, and how informationa technology systems can transform services from safer streets to incentivized recycling. The Regional Plan Association is a partner with the Lincoln Institute in the America 2050 initiative.