- Startup Y Combinator announced a research project Monday to solicit designs for building “new, better cities."
- Companies like Alphabet, AT&T and others are increasingly embracing the “smart city” movement and looking to provide cities with technologies that can improve and streamline city processes and functions.
- Y Combinator says its projects could eventually “alter urban economics.”
“Our goal is to design the best possible city given the constraints of existing laws,” Adora Cheung of Y Combinator said in a blog post.
Cheung said potential areas for the new research include “affordable housing, zoning rules, transit and autonomous cars.”
Google parent company Alphabet has been exploring the smart cities movement as well. In March, Alphabet’s Sidewalks Labs said it would work with the U.S. Department of Transportation on an analytics platform designed to help cities better understand citizens’ patterns of mobility, according to a CIO report. The platform, dubbed Flow, will leverage Alphabet’s Big Data analytics to help cities determine their biggest traffic challenges and help city planners design better transportation infrastructure.
In January, AT&T announced it is working with Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas on smart city innovations that incorporate IoT technology. The company said it eventually plans to enable things like remote video monitoring of bridges, roads, buildings and parks or monitoring traffic patterns at busy intersections.
It remains to be seen how many cities will want to invest in smart cities projects.