Can Technology Improve Quality of Life in Cities | Talks at Google
Well. It is great to be here and. Excited to do, this and thank you Arman for for, putting the talk together I think we're gonna have fun together for the next hour that's that's the goal is to learn but also to, sort of have some fun together so over. The course of the today's our. Conversation. We'll attempt to do this we'll try to define urban, technology. Explain. Really what we can achieve from it and they're really sort through some of the challenges so in my mind I think we're thinking about this question of how will it influence quality, of life why. Do we care how, do we measure success and then how do we implement it so most. Importantly our esteemed panelists, will. Introduce here in a second we'll introduce how technology, is really, sort of shaping their fields I think we've got an interesting group of panelists, both, representing, sort of community and development and arts real. Estate development and obviously technologists. So let me do this let's introduce and welcome our panelists. You. Have Google's, very own Greg, Neville Manning welcome. Greg. Is the CTO, of sidewalk labs as you many of you probably know site won't collapse as an alphabet so bitter a applies. People centric to urban design and. Really frankly is one of the the talks of the earth really, sort of one of those things, that people like myself urban, urban, real estate developers, and Urbanists are really sort of thinking about in. Terms of in terms of technology and how it will have an impact really. On our field and what that means for us going forward, yeah. I would, jump in for those of you who are fairly new if you don't know Craig actually started, the Google New York City campus. We. Also have Jonathan rose jonathan, is the CEO of the rose companies, which. Is a development company which finds new ways to improve communities, you, know both environmentally, socially and, economically. Rose, companies have has developed, more than a hundred projects, across. The United States it is the tenth larger, owner of affordable. Housing across. The country, in. Addition jonathan is, is, a recent author wrote, a really terrific book, which I would recommend for all of you to take a look at it's called the well-tempered city it's a wonderful, wonderful book, so. Please take a look so join me in welcoming Jonathan, as well. We. Also have Elizabeth Goldstein, who's the president of the Municipal Art Society here. In New York, The, Art Society has helped New York advocate, for thoughtful, and inclusive, urban design for. Almost 125, years or over 125. Years and I will tell you that as we talk about the ideas, of displacement. And gentrification a lot of the challenges, that cities like New York is, facing, the, role of your to your organization, and what the. Minister Art. Society does is it's critically, important, I'm prior, to becoming the president of that organization she. Was also the president of the California State, Parks Foundation and, most. Importantly, has worked inside government for really long time so as we talk about this idea of implementing. Technology. Into. Government, and getting government to sort of adopt this you'll have some great insights for us as. Well so please join, me and it also welcoming, I was, a bit too the conversation. So. You. Heard everything Steve's, Stephen said and he's gonna run, the show but so many of you reached out saying you want to ask Craig and everybody questions, I will have a Dory going if you go to go ask the panel I'll, try to squeeze in a couple no promises, but that's. What I'll be doing over here so if you want to take it from sure so, I think let's just start with an opening, panel, question, for all of the panelists, and that is this as we. Think about urban technology, how. Are you seeing technology. Factored. In to the long term sort of vision, and work, of your organization's, and maybe just provide a really specific example, for us we'll, start with you sure, I'd. Be delighted to do that I mean I think technology. Bowls has extraordinary. Ability. To change and make our lives in cities much. Better but it also poses, some very significant. Public, policy, challenges if. You just think about the, sharing technology, and the controversy, that's existed, around Airbnb. For instance and. Even some of the car share programs, to what extent the city should yield.
Spaces. That, normal. People park in to shared, car services, for instance is, a, question. That wouldn't, have been posed a, number, of decades ago it, just would never have right because the technology, drove the ability, forgive the pun I drove. The ability, to to engage. In that way and, the sharing economy, is. Obviously, posing lots of challenges from a public policy perspective. Both, in a really, strong and positive way but also in some ways that are really challenging, so, Jonathan what about the work that you do with your company how is technology, impacting. What you all are doing out the communities across the u.s. got, it so first of all we have a vast, technological. Rethink. Project, going on now where we're committed, years and millions of dollars to thinking, about how we, upgrade. Our systems, and data and so I want to start with an analogy and then I'll talk about how we're applying it so, the amazing, to me the model for everything is nature and, nature. Is has, a you. Know uses DNA is this basic data system but what nature. Actually does has an incredible, ability heal so imagine if there is a forest, fire. Nature. Knows exactly, the small plants the medium-sized plants under the big plants and it it knows how to grow back a whole ecosystem and. What, phases to do that and the. Way we build cities we don't know how to heal so. The question, is and. Since we're to primarily, working in low-income parts, of cities and with low-income residents our. Question, is how can we use data to turn our static, dumb. Ways. That we run cities, and buildings and people and systems now to, make them dynamic, and responsive and, reactive, and ultimately. Co evolving, mm-hmm, great. What about you Craig the work that you all are doing with sidewalks a lot so there's. A tiny bit of background sidewalk, labs was formed with the express idea. Of taking advantage of technology. In cities and and figure, out how we. Might take a big leap, in terms of Technology that cities aren't, maybe taking, a complete. Advantage of so, one example of a technology that we think was a slightly future-looking, will have a big impact and come to as no surprise viewers, is self-driving, vehicles, not. Just from, the way they'll help people get around but, actually even more so as their impact on how urban planning gets done so just if you think about self-driving, cars reducing. Or probably, eliminating, the need for parking right because they'll drop people off and pick them up and if they need to recharge they can go out somewhere where the people aren't. What. Do we do with that space either in existing cities that's now kind of along the sides of all our streets and in our parking lots how. Can we use that space better for people and, if we're designing a place from scratch how, wide should the streets be how. Should space be allocated, that might have previously been diverted. To vehicles and, so, I think that has a number, of really far-reaching, consequences beyond. Just, mobility, it, is this whole idea of being able to reclaim, a bit of a public space right I mean that in my mind is one of the exciting things about a little bit about exciting things about autonomous, vehicles is that for, for, such a long time we've lost a big. Piece of the public realm and we're going to essentially be able to hopefully claim, some of that space back right so as we think about what you guys are doing in Toronto.
Particularly. Maybe talk a little bit maybe about as. You think about the design of. The space in Toronto and of the the project in Toronto. What what, sort of other beyond. Autonomous. Vehicles do you see technology playing, a role to improve, living standards maybe, you know from an environmental, standpoint from even from just a you know traditional quality of place standpoint, absolutely, yeah so so, this is a tiny bit of background sidewalk, labs is really focused on building. A place a brand new place from scratch in Toronto right on the waterfront it used to be the port area of Toronto. Over. Some amount of time and we're still in the planning process and then going through getting permission from the city and the province of Ontario and there and the Federal Government of Canada to go ahead and do that better, hopes for that area which is really undeveloped, right now so it's almost tabula, rasa is. To, think about as you mentioned sustainability, sort of environmental things how can we make this place climate positive, so, not just reduce the, use of carbon but reduce, it to below zero. Through. Clever. Applications, of technology, to make heating, and cooling more efficient to, non digital, technologies. Like, heating district. Heating and cooling which is often used on some campuses but expand, that to a whole neighborhood we. Think about mobility, which I already mentioned there's a whole bunch of really interesting things even beyond self-driving, vehicles, there, when. We think about buildings, themselves, you. Know there are lots of technologies, that will, enable and, some. Already exist and form would, you ask to make buildings much more flexible, so able to adapt to different users, over time but, also cheaper, to build at, the. Same or higher quality than we have existing buildings so so buildings themselves and as you reference that the quality of the public realm, each, of these things contributes. To quality, of life in the city and those are our goals, but. In particular in the public realm if you think about not just as parks but. What do you think about sidewalks and streets and maybe start erasing the boundaries between sidewalks, and streets and say, these places are for people how. Do we make them much more usable, for, a whole bunch of different activities. Beyond. What people use them for now and. Really almost create a public, realm that's an extension of your living room to, make that the whole place much more livable we, think about also ways of supporting, more community, and Health, and Human Services.
And. Then. Sort of underlying all of that how do we actually build the digital technology, that that ties us all together there, are opportunities, there to create less siloed, systems. Than currently exists within cities so what I'm hearing is this idea about how we use technology really. To, really push the envelope on sort of people centric design right designers, and urban developers and people in my space, have been thinking about this a long time but have been constrained by this but, one of the things with with technology, pushing the boundaries a little bit we're may be able to push the envelope so, to speak on this a little bit more perhaps yeah, absolutely and you know there are many things that, that. I mean the cities move more. Slowly than technology, does one. Of those for example cities, have the responsibility, to take out the trash you know on a regular basis, and if that, that's, that's a significant, problem and, so, cities. Are unwilling, to take big risks on technologies, you know at Google, and elsewhere we build little prototypes, we throw them out there we say this is in beta if it works great we'll do more of it if it doesn't work we'll shut it down cities, don't have that luxury and, so we hope that by creating a place that. Where we can actually experiment, with some of these technologies, and. Prove, that, some of them do work then. Other cities it turns out that once cities see and other city doing, something successfully, they're much more likely to follow along there, might be some sort of leading cities that'll try it initially, and once there are a few then. Then the wave happens and so I hope, is the kind of bootstrap dip I love that idea of replication. Right this idea that you can take ideas and sort of take it and put it in other cities and that's why the project what you all are doing in Toronto I think it's really important, so Jonathan, I want to go back to what you originally said about this idea of thinking about cities as organism, and particularly why. Data is so important, to us so tell us a little bit more about. How you sort of see data and, sensing, sensing, and scenario, planning or, playing a role to make us a much more dynamic planning. System maybe to make things more efficient so, we plan in a 19th. Century way essentially, maybe early 20th century and then kind, of I feel. Distorted. By 1970. We passed something called NEPA, and we have an environmental impact statement process which just screws everything up as far, as I'm gonna, deep environmentalism, so, and, the reason is we can't dynamically, respond. To anything so here's what I recommend, is, that number one city, set visions, and goals for what they want to become and, you can turn those into what are called community. Health indicators. And, community health indicators, are hundreds, of measurements, you can measure things like. Vehicle. Miles traveled and, and amount, of walkability amount of affordability, your, climate impacts and how well kids are doing in school and suicide, rates and the rest rates and all kinds you know thousands. Of measurements that measure, your. Your, vision, of of. What, community health is, governments. Have tools, and the tools are basically regulations, such as zoning codes and building, codes and things like that incentives. And tax breaks and things they can do to encourage people to do things in regulations. Discourage, people from doing bad things and they make investments, in things like infrastructure. They. Can use those cool tools I believe in, a continually, dynamic, process, so, I'll give you an example we, have a subway station and we say we want higher density, mixed use mixed income, because we want people to be able to walk to it and today we would come up with some zoning some but all these experts would figure out what it should be and then they'd fix it and to be there for 20 years and, I suggest, instead that it be dynamic, now with sensing, we can with big and direct. Sensing and all that we can actually see you the first building, happens and you see what it does and you keep adjusting, and. So for example you create more let's say it doesn't look like it's affordable, enough so you create more incentives, for, affordability, and let's say it's not you don't feel like people are walking you know for and you can make me hire uses.
Of Retail uses that encourage. People to stay in the area, there's. A million tools that we have but we can be so we're dynamically. Continually, evolving. Towards, our vision we. Have no capacity to do that right now yeah, because all of the data that we use in this process is always looking backwards right I mean for the most part we look backwards what, happened over over time and not really looking to the, future I mean we try to do that as folks. In the data space but we don't do a very good job of it so there's a new. Program developed, by an architect named Peter Calthorpe he's my brother-in-law I got to reveal that called, urban urban, footprint but what urban footprint is a future, casting, system and, so it's a scenario planning system, so what, I think you needed to be doing is not only collecting this real-time data but at the same time always scenario, of future casting forward you'll never be a hundred percent right but the future casting, the scenario planner gives you a sense, of where to go it'll, give you a sense of the implications, and with, artificial intelligence in essence you can use, your scenario, planning in your real time data collection, and keep fine-tuning, yourself towards outcomes and just, recognize they'll never be perfect it's always evolving and it's dynamic, so Elizabeth let's, talk about inclusion, and talk, about this idea of protection, of local character as many of you know as we talk about the, rise of Technology in cities particularly. Cities like our hometown, of New York the. Question of inclusion, and displacement. And really trying to maintain neighborhood. Identity, and authenticity, with. Technology. Coming, and fastly. Coming even more so in the urban space it's it's interesting that we've been a slow adopter, in the urban space to see technology but. As it comes how, do we maintain the balance how do we make sure that we're sort of protecting, you know that local, character. And, being. Inclusive how do we do that right well I think you know this is a huge challenge and I, want to reiterate, something, that you said Jonathan. The environmental, process because, the, environmental process in New York City is, one of the mechanisms, that the public, is allowed to touch big planning, projects, and it, is agree. With you more about how deeply flawed it is among other things we, don't learn from that process so we gather all this data that. The public has interacted, with in the course of one planning, project, or another or, a particular, project, that's coming forward in a community and yet, we don't ever learn whether, that environmental, document, was effective. At establishing, mitigations. That actually worked so, you. Know humans, fundamentally. Don't like change you know we all you. Know we all and I'm sure all of you who live in New York or wherever you live around the world you, moved into a neighborhood you had kind of had a sense of what that was gonna be like you, chose, it deliberately, hopefully, you, were able to you have the privilege, of being able to do that and you.
Know The idea that we, could continually. Change that without, understanding what, it is it's, probably gonna freak, out most, most, New, Yorkers and and citizens, so the question is how do you create that level, of engagement that. Data, actually. Means something to the citizenry, so in New York City we collect a ton of data and I'm. Sure everyone, in this room understands. The concept, of a. Government. Gov a 2.0, and the, fact that government, is not always the best provider, of data back. To the public in a way that they can understand, it so one of the things that we need to do and really in a very global way and my organization is confronting, this every day because, we're trying to figure out well where is growth likely, to happen in New York, where. Does preservation. Efforts, need to be out in front you, know all those kinds of things it's really hard to figure that out and if you're an average citizen looking, at the data that's collected in New York it's, very hard, to get a handle on what, you're looking at so this. Interface, between. The. Collection, of data and the, purveying. Of that data so, that communities. Can actually engage in it is a really. Really really, important, thing and it. Involves, capacity-building, in the community and this is a very human, engagement it's, not really about technology it's, really about getting out there and helping. Communities understand. What, tools they can reach for and how. They can educate themselves. About how the system, works how, they can engage that system, where are the pressure points that they can engage with and. Encouraging. Them to do that and making. Sure that in a governmental level though. The, playing, field is level as, it can so whether you come from a poor community or a rich community is your voice heard equally, in the process, we, all probably, know what the answer to that question is but that's, probably for later in the discussion so, well. We think about urban planning one, of the one of the one of the biggest things that we use to sort of dictate the way that we ought to obviously, use land is our is our zoning codes right, there's, industrials, there's some land that's in zone for industrial, use some that's a zone for commercial use in some that is zone. For residential and generally. Speaking cities. Like two separate, uses, right we like to separate, uses because frankly, we like to keep things night nice and tidy here a little bit right that's one of the ideas. We. Did it that's right first place. So. That said one, of the questions that I have for you all is we think about technology, and. This is a bit of a geeky question, but it is how is the, role of Technology, going.
To Allow us to really think about how, we we. Rethink, zoning, in our in our cities in our communities, Craig you're probably thinking about this really, specifically, in Toronto some thoughts on that one of the specific things we're thinking about is outcome based codes so so to your point zoning. And building codes, tend to be fairly. Prescriptive, and Static and say you. Know we know that in in New York City cast-iron. Pipes for plumbing, work. Pretty well and already safe so, that's that's everybody has to do that. Of. Course as technology, improves there are probably a bunch of other solutions that maybe achieve the same goals at lower cost or more flexibility, and so on but because that's sort of not on the list of approved construction materials, etc that not. An, option. Now, with sensors in to your point Jonathan we. Can start saying potentially. Let's. Monitor that. Think about it maybe an example of noise and one of the issues around kind of having light industrial next, to residential, as maybe you're going to disturb people with noise let's. Say that you, can use the space for whatever you like as long as you, know the noise level as monitored by some sensor that doesn't, record people talking that just the sound pressure level as long as it doesn't go above a certain amount and so you, have to provide a building, and a set of uses that. Dampens, the sound. And so on and. That's monitored, on a dynamic active, basis. Rather. Than saying there's just a set of ways, you have to build a building because we know that that goes above and beyond the standard and. That's true about all kinds of things, around. Odor around, activities, and so on so can you actually define. Building. Codes based on the outcomes, you want to achieve and, then. Allow innovation, to provide, the. News, of clever. Ways of achieving those outcomes and. Be less prescriptive about the way that the codes are written and Jonathan that's where that dynamic, data plays a very important role to allow you to think about those outcome metrics true exactly. So the other thing is that our culture has changed enormously if you think about it when America was founded I believe 90%, of people lived on farms where, by the way they were living, working manufacturing. In effect doing, everything all in one place and then, we became more segmented, and the, industrialization, was a very dirty process, and you didn't want to live near it it was to protect people but today if you think about how most of us live in work it's in a very integrative, way and and. Although. You may want to men separate, significant. Heavy duty manufacturing, out we. Really the, way people naturally want to live now is in, a much more integrated way and we need communities that will reflect that so, this week there have been three articles alone, about the rise of modular, construction right, modular. Housing construction, as. A sort of technology, and development, space thoughts, on that you see that as an innovative technology, or a, trend that will change how we sort of think about Ford. Ability or even the construction space, as we develop cities for the future yes so I'm. Gonna go near-term Carter yeah okay so in the near term we've. Thought about manufactured. Housing is creating, chunks, basically, boxes, that you add up and there's some. Advantage. That but there's some also in flexibility, but there's a company, now for example named dirt which is based in Canada which, has a dir, TT, this, is not an advertisement for them but they have a system in which you. Do 3d design of the space that you want you, put on goggles and you can actually walk and see through the space it's, in real time giving, you back the pricing information you're, you're, picking finishes you're doing all kinds of stuff and then when you're you want to order you push order.
And Then. The factory builds, it exactly, as it is and it gets delivered to you and never installation. Teams so, you're really integrating. Design. Pricing. And delivery. And, it's much more by the way material, efficient, which is environmentally, efficient, okay, but, that's still it suck it that's so and so those are walls and pieces so there's less than the chunk level but where I really want to go is remember I started with the analogy of DNA yes, so from an environmental, point of view we have to move from we currently build out of concrete, steel glass copper. And all these we mined from the earth and all have very negative environmental, impacts, the, true solution at. Least in the next hundred to 200 years to the environmental, issues with the start building out of timber and organic, materials, because, timber captures carbon has much lower embodied energy, and. It's a regenerative, material. And for, example we can already begin to grow fungus like kind, of mushroom. Like insulations, so. The issue is we had to move from mining, in organic materials, to turning to biological, buildings to start growing or building materials so. To me the the future, step is where, we're designing our buildings in 3d and then we're turning that not into plans but we're turning that into DNA, and, we're actually growing the components. That we need high-tech, components, for our buildings and then when it's time to recycle, them or disassemble, them you, can because. There they, have a basic code that we have created we can decode them and read and repurpose. Them and that's really does. So, it's following nature's cycle as to how we're going to solve our environmental, issues and create, much more affordable buildings, so let's just recap some of the things we've heard so far about technology, we've heard that number, one technology the, rise of technology in the urban space is going to give us more back in the public realm back perhaps it's, going to make us more climate, since really thinking. About how we think about the in the, environment going in the future maybe more affordable housing may. Help with the inclusion piece one, last thing we haven't, touched on enough is this engagement piece Elizabeth, which I know that you, wrote a terrific piece about about how technology. Is. Disconnected. A bit from the citizen jury how, do you see us using. Technology. Particularly how can government use, technology, to really engage whether, it's with its community base in a much more, really. Authentic, way Brian yeah so I'm just gonna tell a little bit of a personal story which is that when, I was in government in San Francisco, I. Often. Would, hear, from my employees, who, had seen me on the cable channel. Testifying. Before the Board of Supervisors about. The, budget, or some policy, issue that was before the. Recreation, Park Department which is the one I was running at the time and I. Recently. Went down to a BSA, hearing. Sorry. The board of standards and appeals in. New York City and. Not. Only is, there no closed-circuit. TV, so that if you can't, get in the room you. Absolutely. Do not know what's going on in that room unless someone, comes out with a bullhorn and, tells. You in the outer room what's going on there. Is no computer. Screen that even says what items, the, the, Commission, is is on, I, mean literally we, are in, what, is that 1980s. Technology in, terms of public engagement it, also means, that if you were a citizen, who radical. New idea works. You. Can't get to those hearings and can't engage, in, the democratic process in any substantive, way you have to take time off you have to get a babysitter you have to show up in a room where, you may or may not ever be able to interact with the policymakers, who are making decisions that is, you know we are we are very very. Far away from the idea let's just say but, but, let me just talk about a couple of ways in which technology actually. Changes, very fundamentally. So technology. Voting. Machines ability to, do rang, order voting, for instance, is the. Difference, between us having. A locked-in, two-party, system and the, possibility, of more minority, views and I don't mean diversity. Views but just any kind of minority view. Beginning. To percolate it up in our political system so there, is and that's you know voting is the thing, that New Yorkers are not doing today that they should be. And. So, we need to figure out how that happens, this is this is the fun, most fundamental. Way in which we engage with our government, but. When you move into these much more complicated, City Planning and land-use decisions that. Are being made and talked about I mean I've been following. The Toronto, project, and the. Initial, level of suspicion, about what, your very, thoughtful planning. Process, was really going to be about it's, kind of understandable because there's we, live in a world where there's a lot of distrust between government, and citizens and part, of it is the sense that decisions, are being made behind closed doors so the question is how you open those, doors and how, do you create a, level playing field so people can engage in the dialogue there's a lot of Technology tools to do that you, know people are using.
You. Know the ability for people, for instance just to interact on, a website or whatever to put in their opinions, and views on a particular policy. Decision, that's being made but. There's also opportunities. In the local community, to really think about how. Do we allow. Policymakers. To engage on a much much. More incremental level, with their own constituents and I don't think that's what we're doing, I mean tweeting, is not a substitute, for, real political dialogue, I don't think anyone in the room would, doubt that and, certainly in the last year and a half my, accounting, right. We've. Seen how that's just a destructive. Force. In in, a democratic, dialogue rather than a constructive, one so so, really giving folks a mechanism. For having a true voice. So. Remind you so we've got some questions about yeah about transportation, yes. Everyone's, very excited. About the, the. Futuristic, cities. But I'm getting tell me about my commute oh yeah, and I'm hearing like ride-sharing services. Have held bike, sharing services, what we have a few docs outside, in, California. And our offices, there there's now, Dhokla. Scooters, so. How, are we going to get around cities how will that be changing, and mixed-use, zoning helps, in regards to the, community which we all talked about but what else is in store. Well. Can, I speak a little bit to where we are in New York City at the moment because I think this is a really interesting question, about technology so, we. Are an environmentally, strong. City because, we use mass transit. And. Our, carbon. Footprint is much lower because we do. Yet. We have a subway, system which, is in a, state of depending. On which day it is one, might say total collapse or, partial, collapse we. Have a brilliant, new leader who actually came from Andy, Andy, Byford who came from Toronto actually. Who, I have been I was, very pessimistic about this and he's been really. Causing. My optimism, to to, rise he, is deliberately. Picking, a chill a tool for. Fixing, our subway, system that is not the, most cutting. Edge of technology and, it's, very much to this point you made a little bit earlier about. Does. Government want to risk being on, the absolute, front, edge which. Many. Of you know Governor, Cuomo has been making an argument that we ought to try a new technology, in our subway system and any, Byford to his enormous, credit is saying not. Until it's proven because. I have to deliver this fast, and well and. I'm. Gonna use, the technology, that's been effective, in other cities right much. Better than the technology which is of now almost 100 years old in our subway system but but, nonetheless, not. At the cutting edge and. That gets to this dynamic about, whether governments, can really truly adopt, the, most, cutting-edge, tool, I think we. Want him to actually make our subway system work better in the next five years which, he, says he is able to do if, that's, a trade-off, a dream. Of a technology, that might take us a little bit further I don't. Know that's a hard trade-off to make I think I want my II train to run faster sooner more. Thoughts on sort. Of the future of technology and, transportation, as we look to the future for for cities both, from planning and it's maybe even towards. Implementation Jonathan, so the. The dream of autonomous, vehicles has, an economics, to it which we don't discuss much and that is utilization. Right so the car that's 24-hour utilize so by the way I've said to several autonomous, vehicle makers and they've all ignored me that if I were gonna roll out a system the number one place I do it is in Las Vegas and the Sunset Strip because the weather is great and the utilization is 24 hours is a very small rate you got a map at all is a very small range I would think that would be like the most profitable street in the world to do it anyway. But. Something, yeah, so, so. Maybe the mayor is listening, hopefully. When. Is all about utilization so. So. When you. You guys are too young to remember but when cable. TV first got rolled out all, the tape at cable TV ceases companies said to cities. It's, too expensive to go everywhere, we, are just going to start we want a franchise, we just want to start in, the places that's most profitable, and then over decades, literally, they were ultimately forced. To do universal, service which, they don't really you don't wait anyway try and get files out in the Bronx or something but anyway which, they theoretically. You. Know have risen, too so, I see this is the issue that the. Autonomous, vehicle companies are gonna say we want to be where it's most profitable, and so you're gonna be either you're on the loop or you're in the system you're outside of the system and rural, America and I, mean.
Whole Parts. Of places in which there's in, essence assistance, systems, are gonna be biased. Against because of profitable, utilization, and so if you really want an equitable system the subway system is a really equitable system so, I think you know putting, on a government hat in with franchise, agreements, you have to franchise, with a bias towards equity so are you suggesting that we have to sort of think about the, role of technology, the, future of transportation, even, more as a public good continue, to sort of think about it as a public good even if that sort of mix and mix, and match the. Delivery. Yes, vehicle, so, you have to think about as a public good you have to think about and. And, so, there's. A. This. Is a founding premise of all, my another founded Previn so am I thinking America is hugely, zipcode biased so, if you live in the healthier zip code you are twenty years to testily you're, likely to live 20 years longer than the least healthy zip code and, if you go if you grew. Up in the best public school district, or one of the top 20 school public school districts, your chance of getting into college is literally a hundred times greater than if you grew up in the worst maybe more than two times greater so, we have these enormous zip code biases, in my theory about public, policies, to always always overcome, those biases, and equally. Distribute, the landscape of opportunity so. In transportation. Which is the connectivity, system is one of those prime functions, I basically say. Information. Healthcare. Education and, transportation are, the places where you want the ground of equality to begin. Well. You're gonna say on the on the mobility side first I think you know I've been sort, of making, the assumption I think the panel has in general that self-driving cars are coming I just want to double check that with the audience this is probably a slightly biased audience, but who thinks, in 20, years there'll be lots. Of self-driving cars sort of everywhere ok. Fine so would so you guys are mostly bought in which is kind of what I suspected. Why. Don't I think the impacts, of self-driving, vehicles, other, than kind of the mobility we already talked about on the urban planning of safety you know and and because, these are computing. Devices that. Are looking at all directions at once you know have lots of redundancy, so you know that the team at way mode for example just, spun off from Google, it's, got you know working on very, very safe redundant computing you know paying attention all of the time which is something that human drivers just don't have the capacity to do right and often, choose not to do actively. And. So one. Impact, of that is that we, have the opportunity to give streets, much, more back to pedestrians and cyclists, like actual people that are wandering around under their own steam and so, I think one of the other implications. Of self-driving vehicles is in fact, more. Walking more cycling, more, more healthy ways of getting around another. Couple of implications are you know right now we have a vehicle fleet where. Somebody buys a car. For. Themselves sometimes when the competing on their own and then on the weekends they have the whole family and so thereby sort of a larger vehicle they need most of the time you. Would imagine a fleet of autonomous, vehicles might come in a whole bunch of sizes in fact most of them would be relatively small because at least four individuals, which will also make things. Safer because sort of less mass. Moving, around but. Also less congested, because there are sort of smaller vehicles, but, there, is there, are some challenges I think this is not an R and a Lloyd good you can imagine if it's super comfortable to be in your autonomous vehicle commuting and you can read the paper you can watch a movie you can catch a nap people. Might be happy just sort of being, in congested. Traffic a lot and kind, of just getting other stuff done and we might end up with cities completely, choked by vehicles, and you. Know it's not clear that that will happen but it seems like a high and of likelihood, that we need to think about the, kinds, of policies. And regulations around, these and maybe the kinds of market forces that, would not, create that that, dystopian, future and. So I think there's some really interesting challenges ahead that, aren't just technological, challenges but also like. I said sort of policy and regulation, challenges, so Craig you're hit on a really important point in that is public, policy needs to be thinking about these, these, challenges, now Elizabeth you had something that you wanted to know, I was gonna go I was gonna talk a little bit about this dystopic. View that, Yee that you began with I mean Americans. Tend to think about our cars as our personal. Thing even. In New York and even, with car sharing sharing we think about these as our personal, thing and if autonomous, vehicles, are actually going to achieve a, utopian.
Vision And not, a dystopic. Vision, we, need to let go of that idea right. Because. It, can't be 1 for 1 or even, 1 for 4 we, just don't have the room for it and if, we're going to. Garner. Back the, the, street and the. Sidewalk, for. The, public we, need not, to have people believe that they're an autonomous, car is going to be sitting outside their. Apartment, building waiting, for them whenever they want to go right, and that's exactly the public policy, challenge. That. We have to confront is against, our. You. Know our our other side which is selfish, and wants the maximum. Convenience we can get and so those those, two things have to be balanced, by public policy and. Can, they be balanced, by public policy fast. Enough, that, the that. The use of autonomous cars hasn't, said into a pattern that we then have to break and that's, the that's I think it's a challenge of the timing, how, do we think through the public policy, issues, soon, enough that we're actually. Implementing. Them along, with autonomous, cars as opposed, to after, autonomous. Cars have begun to set patterns because, that's an important point public policy always tends to be reactive, instead of a proactive are moving, or changing it which I think gets to the point of wobbly data let's. Just shift the conversation just, a bit I want to talk about data privacy and why, we collect data so Craig, you all with sidewalk lobs may be thinking about how you're gonna look at data of your residents, and the businesses that are in your district, what, types of data do you think are you gonna be collecting and how are you gonna think about privacy issue issue issue mitigate. P yeah this is an, issue that lots of you will concern this is the issue of we talked about planning in Toronto a little bit yeah so the way we think about it is is we. We always start a sidewalk labs with the quality of life goals that we have and I kind of listed, things like mobility and sustainability, and public realm and buildings and so on as kind, of some of the things we want to improve, on in terms of public life and, that's, where we start when we think about data at least we, don't think about data until we've identified that, we need data to achieve certain goals so, for, example if you, work through goals. Around sustainability, around air, quality and water quality and energy, usage for heating and cooling it. Turns out that the list of kinds of data that you need like the flow of water. Through pipes the, flow of sewage, through, pipes the amount. Of energy consumed by a building. The amount of heating and cooling district-wide. And so on these. Don't seem like things that have privacy, implications and, in fact when, you go down the list of these quality of life goals it's, not really clear to me where. Privacy. Invasive, data, plays. A plays a role, you. Know there will be other systems somewhere else you know obviously we all use devices. That in some ways you, know asked, war and gather our private data but, it's not at all clear to me that that the city and the public realm should be gathering personally. Identifiable, data it. Seems to me that we can achieve most, of the the big leaps without, doing that and furthermore, I think there are ways that technology, can improve people's privacy so at the moment there's, a bit of a silly example but if I go to a bar and I want to buy a drink not me personally, you. Know I was, about to say you know that the bartender, wants to check that, I'm that I'm out of drinking age I'm fine, but you know somebody does ask for my driver's license I hand over to them my name my, address my, actual you know exact date of birth and. There, are technologies, based. On cryptographic, signatures. Essentially. Proofs. Of, claims. That, allow me to demonstrate, to, the bartender, that I'm a drinking, age as certified by the DMV, or some other organization.
That They can verify in, a, technological. Way that. That don't reveal any data apart from the fact that I'm over 21 and and, that's, maybe a slightly contrived example but there are many of these cases where in fact we think in. Cities you should be able to reveal much less about yourself as you're going about your daily life than you currently are required to so. Jonathan you've given a lot of thought to how data should play a role in planning, and development what about the privacy issue from your perspective, so, it's a little more complicated because one of the things we're really focusing, on now and we have this big, partnership we put together with, the. Harvard School of Public Health Columbia, School of Public Health Dartmouth, and others to, try and do a baseline assessment of, our residents, and see, if certain interventions we're doing on health and education actually, make a difference and you can do that on a population level and you can do it by measuring things like hospital emergency room, you, know ambulances, visiting, your property and stuff like that but what I really want to know is cortisol, levels and what a you know four is measuring stress and, what I really there's stuff you know I really, want to know am i am i individual. You know how many people's diabetes, have we reduced. Insulin levels are improved or whatever and. That's. Complicated. So, I'll tell you the most interesting, technology, we've come across we are not using this yet but we've just discovered this is there's, a guy who measures. The. Basic. Human waste he that goes to city sewer systems, that he measures the level of cortisol, in it there are a bunch of metabolites, that show, how, well you're digesting what you've been eating and showing whether you've been exposed to environmental toxins, etc, and that's a way we think to, be or with so we need to find if not that system some system where, we can actually get human, health real. Data but. In an anonymous, way, gotta, be a cleaner way to do it maybe. All. Those but should the community to be concerned about privacy as we think about data what's what's your thought from the well I think the answer is of course and, you know the. The issues that we've just, talked about both, of Jonathan. And Craig have just talked about are our. Examples. Of how it can work in our favor but without thinking, proactively about. That it, doesn't it doesn't have to come out that way right and you. Know we we. Need. To, find ways to not. Only create. Data, that, is anonymized, but. Useful for. These, bigger, societal. Goals but, we also need, to create, data that is accessible. To the public so. That they know what everyone else is seeing because, part of the issue here is transparency. Right is. That it doesn't, feel good if somebody else is collecting a bunch of data about. My community and, I don't get to see it and I don't understand, what the implications of it are whereas. If we can begin to think about as we go along how. Do we make that data which. Will be largely, innocuous. Right, transparent. So that people understand, where, it is innocuous, and where it isn't. And. Then, able to intervene I think, is a really interesting dynamic, that we need to think about but, I also just, want to point out that that, a, lot, of the data that we're collecting, now, isn't. Useful to government, or the, private sector or, to individuals, at all you know we sort of collect, it but we don't were at that stage when we don't know quite, what to do with it yet and how to analyze it and how to make it useful and I, think that. You. Know we we've been we've, met with a city councilperson not. Too long ago and he said well you know there's this phenomenon going on in my neighborhood and it's only everybody. Tells us it's only in our neighborhood of these illegal, conversions, of of housing, units and we, went to the public sector data that, afternoon, pulled. A big map of complaints. That are coming in all across the city and guess what, it's. Not just happening in his district, it's happening all across the city and part, of that is just a very simple. Learning. How to express, that data in a way that it's useful to policymakers, so before, we came out Jonathan you you posed a really interesting question and about, this idea about enhancing. Data to make us is, enhancing, data making us better consumers. Are better, citizens. Talk, a little bit more about that in your thoughts their thoughts on that that question so as you.
Know You know my. Sense is the use of data by. All the, for-profits, and comedies, such as goals and many many others is all being used for income optimization. Of the company and that essentially, looks at individuals, as consumers, and asks, what what, can knife has to either sell them or facilitate, the sales to them and and, where is their money to be made in that and that's the function of the data and what's, happened, in in America, and actually I'm seeing globally is that people are, thinking. Much less about their roles as citizens, as their you, mentioned the roles as even, voting and there's, a really depressing article in The New York Times this weekend about a guy trying to do voter registration, at Randall's Island at a music festival and that the the I hope everybody, in this audience is registered, and if you're not registered to vote please, register to vote and tell your friends to register, it's, hugely, important. And. We are beginning to, get the. Kinds of government's that happen when we don't care or, we don't care enough, citizen. Engagement so, there's. A measure of how, you know what a really healthy community, is and it turns out it's called collective, efficacy here. Is whether people in that community feel that acting, together they can make a difference and then experience, the actual making of a difference and, and that, by the way it can be very data enabled, we can use it to gather people together create, movements, to create information, areas. Of interest, it's. Very different than turning people into consumers. Other. Thoughts yeah, well I also think there there are big problems that, take big, data and big, policy. Results. So we. Were talking a little bit before about climate change and, I've been very concerned about heat island in particular because. I think our most. Of the the, tools are being used at the governmental level certainly, here in New Yorker are very. Low-tech they're, white paint and trees love. Trees white. Paint is fine but, it's not exactly a high-tech solution, whereas. If we were beginning to model, the natural wind patterns, of New York and and. Zoning. Creating, zoning and. Policy. Implications. For, maximizing. That we, wouldn't be doing just the thing you know heat island means that we pump, our air, conditioning, and our cooling, and all those, systems up which of course makes the problem worse so. In. That case we've got a relatively. Old-school, technology that's actually exacerbating. A problem rather than making it better whereas, if we had, combinations. Of. Scientists. And, planners. Working. Together with data to really think about well what are the changes we need to make in New York City to really take advantage of our natural systems to. Cool the city in a better way we, might actually be preventing, people from dying, every. Summer which is what happens in New York I, want yet a question from the audience. I'll. Just, put those anyway, and on, on on. Community, engagement I think one opportunity is is we, talk about all part of this being local but how about hyperlocal you know if I want to have a block party and shut, down my block you know on the weekend and and invite you know you have some some folks along and play some music there's, a big permitting process that the NYPD it's. Complicated, and it sort of doesn't happen very often you. Know what if it were possible for me to say I live in this neighborhood who, around me is sort of thumbs-up thumbs-down about, having a block party if you know that if things turn out you know if people like the idea then, maybe there's an automated process for, that permit, to be granted. There's no you. Know extenuating, circumstances. And and that. You, make it much easier for those things to happen and start by having like, a tiny bit of sort of low-risk, democracy, happening at a hyperlocal level and sort of build up from there, because. Sort of that the stakes are lower and things, can happen a little bit more quickly and and, things there's, more maybe instant gratification there, I think there might be some opportunities to start there and grow then to do something more impactful, I'm not sure if I like that idea my neighbors will always say no. Question. From the audience yes so, similar. To that Jason has asked Ari outcome-based. Zoning, rules at, what granularity, is do you plan to try this one, could envision a mixed-use building, where multiple tenants have to collectively share a limit on noise odor etc, do, you expect to see new cap-and-trade, economies, evolve within and/or, across properties, I know there's lots of interesting open questions with the idea of outcome.
Based Codes I think we need to start by demonstrating that the data can be collected and then I think yeah, we there probably is some experimentation, about like what does it mean there are certain things at all that I held that that are life safety those, are kind of non-negotiable, those can't be sort of negotiated within a building there are the things that are around comfort, and, maybe our negotiator. Was in a building, but. I think, it's a new enough idea that there's probably a number of iterations to go through in. A sort of a safe environment before, I think we understand exactly what, they should look like and of course it's in the end it's as it's a city regulation. Question, and so the city has to be convinced, and that's a pretty high bar that this is a better solution than the current fixed, well. They also have to be able. To respond, to that data right I mean it's it's not just a question of the public's, willingness, to engage in that data and have it dictate, a. Way. An approach in. A particular place, but, it's also the. City's, ability, to, understand. All. That incrementality. And how, it comes together and to be able to regulate it in a way that's that's, responsive. To that and. When. You look at some other city agencies one, doesn't, really think that's going to happen tomorrow I just want to add go. Jason that idea of a cap-and-trade economy, from in at the building level, is a fantastic, idea could be an amazing marketplace, for, environmental good, one. Question before you wrap kind of a question from Phillip I think everyone's gonna be excited to hear this the. Panel talked about getting people to think of citizens, and get involved could there be a 20% like, project, for citizens to get involved what, would that look like how could how could they do that it's a great question from. For the technologies, in the room head down to city that Civic Hall there's, a great organization here in New York City where there's a physical gathering, of people thinking about these problems and, get involved in a project. We. Were actually trying to do in an initiative, to get a million low-income voters registered. I go, back to voter registration, but once we get them registered we. Need to inform them about issues and it'd, be great to do a 20%, project that figures out how you really inform people about, issues, so. One of the things I hear I mean hearing just wrapping, up the conversation a bit is that if we're linking about the role of Technology and, the impact on the future it's, gonna involve engagement its, engagement from the technology, side its engagement from the development, side but also engagement, from the community, right that it can't just be top-down that this idea that we have to look to get our provide, mechanisms for the community, to engage as well as is a critically, important, piece to this as well um please, join me in thanking our panelists, we are at time. You.