In this article, what StreetLight founder Laura Schewel reveals is that she can’t map the future, and neither can other “smart city” infrastructure companies. Instead, building smart cities is more about providing the best data-supported options for planners to choose from — – especially for supporting bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
“We need to educate high-level stakeholders like councillors and mayors not to fall for someone who says: ‘I can predict the future!’ ” Schewel says.
Schewel talks more about the “smart cities” buzzword, and how the intersection of technology and pavement has become a battleground for tech companies determined to show potential clients what they can do. It sometimes creates some outlandish expectations.
What really matters for smart cities? “Paint is going to be the most important technology in the next 10 years! It allows you to make a bus lane, make a bike lane.” － road markers that will become more critical with the advent of autonomous vehicles, Schewel says.