Why are MESH Cities Important?

boacCities are now home to more than fifty percent of the world's people. To accommodate increasing urban populations designers are inventing new ways for cities to do more with less—less energy and less waste, but also more personalization. Fortunately, new, Internet-based technologies allow for real-time management of city systems in ways never before possible.

The technological foundations today's "MESH" cities are built on improve their efficiency. At the same time wireless feedback and information management systems make big cities as responsive to real-time, individual needs as the towns our grandparents grew up in. The 21st Century city is a dynamic, multi-layered entity. In the more than nine thousand years since people began living and working collectively, the complex—and constantly adaptive—systems we call cities have defined civilizations by giving form to our shared aspirations.

Today's cities, however, are more than form-givers.

They must be energy-efficient, they must use and reuse resources like water, land, and air with care, and they must be enjoyable to live in. Well-designed MESH Cities may be able to to respond to those needs in ways never before imagined. A population empowered by increasingly sophisticated digital technologies will drive urban change from the bottom up, rather than waiting for bureaucracies to understand their needs.

This site is an online repository for up-to-date information and discussions on the evolving MESH cities. Our intent is to explore the opportunities as well as the threats such a massive change in social collaboration brings. We invite you to contribute to the ongoing discussions.

Take a moment to read our next story: Saskia Sassen on the Future of Cities

Did you miss the previous story? Social Networks and the Future of Cities

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