Smart from the Start

Designing smart cities of the future

By Tara Swords

Spring 2019


Percentage of telecom execs calling smart cities #1 opportunity for 5G-enabled digital services
Source: Oracle

Opening in 2023, Spain’s Elysium City promises to be a sustainable, solar-powered residential and tourist destination featuring a high-speed train station, free gigabit speed Wi-Fi, smart kiosks providing information on parking and weather, and more (including a theme park and 40,000-seat football stadium).

The design is dramatic, but according to Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, city planners looking to inject smarts into their skylines should focus on using technology to deliver better services or solve problems. “Residents don’t talk about ‘smart cities’—they talk about problems like traffic, noise, or crime,” Catlett says. More at

Photographs courtesy of Cora Alpha