Nautilus

Our Cities Could Get a Whole Lot Smarter

Pieces of SolaRoad, concrete blocks topped with solar cells, were recently installed in a bike path in Holland.SolaRoad

Remember having to stay at home and wait for phone calls? (If you’re below a certain age, you can consult old movies, books, or TV shows—or just trust me on this.) It wasn’t so long ago that we all got mobile phones, but landlines already seem all but obsolete.

So, soon, could a lot of our urban infrastructure. In fact, most of it, from sewers to electrical grids to roadways, is outdated technology that goes back a century or more. It wastes energy and money, is vulnerable to disasters, and doesn’t expand to meet the needs of growing populations.

A dramatic

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