MESH Cities Top Ten Stories of The Year

Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn—Image by andjelicaaa, Instagram

Last year about this time we saluted the miniaturization of GPS chips as the breakthrough MESH technology of 2011. So much has happened this year in the innovative landscape of MESH Cities that rather than reviewing one breakout idea, we are offering readers the top ten story list from our 2012 archives.

Think of it as our holiday gift to you. Our team believes that these ideas are shaping and distributing the future of cities in 2012.  So start reading from ten to one to discover what the future holds for cities.

10. “Deny, deny, deny.”

Number ten on our list is no surprise to anyone who follows the reality-based urban universe—Global warming denial. When governments refute hard science to protect a large but soon to be waning part of the economy, the outcome will not be good. Here are links to our top three stories on the deniers and what cities are doing to prepare for change in a post-Sandy world.

New York: When The Music Stopped Smart Cities Started // October 31 2012
Koch Brother’s Study: Anthropogenic Climate Change is Real! // July 30 2012
Globe2012: The One Keynote Address to Take to the Bank // March 21 2012

Pop up cities . . . (Image by R. Ouellette)

9.  “Pop goes the . . .”

Number nine on our list is the concept of the “Pop Up City.” So-called Smart Cities are popping up all over springing phoenix like from empty wastelands or deserts. Turns out though that the motivation behind such cities is not new. Have a read and find out why everything old is new again.??

Responsive, Pop Up Cities In History (Reprised) // August 08 2012

8.  “K.I.S.S.”

Ask Black Swan author Nicholas Taleb about what might be number eight on our list. Sometimes it is the small but obvious answers that have the most long-term value. Keep it simple stupid! Why worry about reinventing the world’s energy supply when we can be doing more with less—a lot less. Read how the same technology that keeps your Dyson vacuum cleaner bag free can help save the planet.

Not So Big Ideas That Generate Big Returns // September 12 2012

7. “The last emperor.”

Cities are replacing empires as the world’s power centres. Find out why by reading these short essays on how the technological shift from atoms to bits erodes the influence of monolithic cultures.

MESH, Paraimpu, and the End of Empire // January 13 2012

Peeling Back the Layers of MESH Cities (revisited) // July 12 2012

6. “Smart Cities? There’s an App for that.”

Number six on our list is our own MESHCities iPhone App. The App allows users, inventors, producers, cities, or almost anyone to list their favourite MESH City solutions.

Have You Used The New MESH Cities iPhone App? // December 20

What Does the New MESHCities iPhone App Look Like? // July 05 2012 2012

5. “It’s getting bigger.”

Big Data is number five on the list of our urban influencers of 2012. Diving into numbers to look for insights not previously visible is changing the way we design cities. But like anything, sometimes knowing what not to look at is more important than “boiling the ocean.”

Big Data, Visualisation, And Climate Change // December 27 2012

The Beauty of Big Data In MESH Cities // December 05 2012

4. “Really, really smart cities.”

Cities are brains, of a sort. Find out what leading brain researchers are discovering about how brains are wired and what that has to do with the city. Cities are the most complex machines ever invented. But do they think? Perhaps even more importantly, are they smart enough to throw themselves in front of the climate change truck to protect us?

The Truth Behind Cities, Brains, and MESH Cities: Part One // April 03 2012

The Truth Behind Cities, Brains, and MESH Cities: Part Two // April 04 2012

The City Sings The Body Electric // December 11 2012

3. “The Motor City is burning.”

Number three, in fact maybe let’s call it the big three, on our countdown list is the demotorization of our cities. Young people are voting for walkable cities with their feet choosing mass transit over private cars—even in the Motor City.

The Demotorization of Cities // December 12 2012

2. “I felt that!.”

Ubiquitous, affordable—even down right cheap—sensors make it to number two on the MESH Cities list of 2012’s top influencers. If cities really are smart then their sense organs are the billions of tiny, I.P. enabled devices that relay temperature, movement, or thousands of other bits of data to the evolving urban brain.

MESH Cities Need MESHed People // January 31 2012

Can MESH Cities thinking help reinvent our homes? // February 21 2012

The City as Media Database // June 11 2012

Libelium’s Fifty-Four Days of Smart City Christmas // November 19 2012


1. “We have you surrounded!”

The number one top influencer distributing the cities of tomorrow today is . . . The Internet of Things or IoT for short. Everything is connected, or soon will be. Talk about the city as super brain. Smart sensors are feeding data into the cloud at exponentially growing rates. Just how much information are we talking about? Think an order of magnitude more than all the info-froth from social networks.

Understanding the Information City // March 10 2012

Are MESH Cities Machine-to-Machine, Or People-to-People? // July 23 2012

Who Knows The Future of Smart City Technologies? // October 09 2012

The Internet of Things For The Rest of Us // November 28 2012

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