The pace of urbanization globally is unprecedented - by 2050 nearly 66% of the world's population is expected to be urban. The ability to effectively manage this rapid urbanization is critical. Cities must find new ways to increase the efficiency of existing and new infrastructure and services to a level never previously achieved.
The phrase "Cities of the Future" conjures up so many different images, from the utopia of The Jetsons to the dystopia of Judge Dredd. But one thing that most agree on is the connected nature of our cities, with every aspect of life being connected to the internet, machines communicating with machines and with us.
When you live in a capital it's easy to complain about the big things that are broken, but since visiting all these Second Cities, I'm excited for them in a way I'm not about London. Second Cities will have to figure out how to best harness what they have and keep people loving what's great about them.
Making the City Playable conference in September and will run for two months. From now and until then we will work with the creators to question, explore and make the most engaging, surprising, thoughtful project we can. I love how much this project moves on the notion of a Playable City and look forward to demonstrating again that playful city interventions can be more than just fun.
Smart Cities are hot news with many examples where innovation and technology have been drivers of growth and sustainability. But are Smart Cities heading for an 'Uncanny Valley' where the lack of consultation with citizens can lead to alienation and rejection by the very people that these initiatives are designed to help?
We watch them, drive them, make phone calls on them and even live in them. Everything today, it seems, is smart. TVs, cars, phones and cities all carry the prefix to display their clever credentials. And next week, with the launch of the new iPhone 5S, another product will be added to the long list of smart.
Many see a smart city as one where a network of sensors brings together data to be analysed for the more effective management of its systems. Yet this alone will not solve a city's problems of finance, sustainability and the protection of its citizen's health, security and wellbeing, writes Felicia Jackson.