"Already internet technology and big data is aiding resilience. Google has modelled sophisticated means for tracking the spread of flu by charting search results from its engines, while the Twitter Earthquake Detector has been used to link seismometers to social media to assess the scale and impact of a tremor. Other big players, including IBM, Cisco, Siemens, Accenture, McKinsey, and Booz Allen are entering the debate on the intelligent city and developing tools to bring efficiency and sustainability into a connected metropolis. They are talking to city halls and offering end-to-end solutions — the complete package to retrofit the everyday city for the 21st century, coupled to a very hard sell.
In one scenario, the city itself becomes the computer, in keeping with the rules of the information age. In this new, connected city, real-time information monitors and regulates the urban fabric, deploying buildings, objects and traffic lights as sensors and activators. In the words of Carlo Ratti, Director of the SENSEable City Lab at MIT, it will function like ‘a computer in the open air’. A sentient place, the city will not just gather information but change and react to feedback. Commenting on these developments without any apparent sense of irony, Assaf Biderman, The SENSEable City Lab’s Associate Director, says that smart technologies can make ‘cities more human’."