About four decades ago computer scientist Vinton Cerf helped establish the Internet Protocol, a kind of common language, set of standards, and system for problem-solving and embracing best practices for the world wide web. In Barcelona last week, leaders from industry, global cities, and academia gathered to try to do something similar for cities: the City Protocol, a common framework for what it means to be a smart city.
Barcelona was an appropriate launching pad for the initiative. The city is revamping its bus lines, creating new super-efficient distributed energy systems, and improving garbage collection, all using sensors and other new technology. Organizers stressed that using technology to manage the 21st century city was critical to save money, be more sustainable, and accomodate rapid increases in urban populations through infrastructure and basic services.
A full report is viewable at The Atlantic Cities, The Atlantic Monthly's online site about all things urban.