September 21, 2020  |  permalink

The Big Rethink: Can’t Stop Columbus with Jordan Davis

September 21, 2020: While wildfires rage across the West Coast and San Francisco is bathed in an unearthly orange glow, meteorologists have already run out of names for hurricanes this season. “Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice…” One positive development from the pandemic has been a surge of community run mutual aid groups delivering meals and support.  This week’s guest, Smart Columbus director Jordan Davis, talks about her city’s platform, Can’t Stop Columbus, along with retasking her new mobility pilots for assisting the hardest-hit neighborhoods. Skip to 9.25 minutes to watch the interview.

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September 15, 2020  |  permalink

CREtech Consulting Talks: Reimagining Cities and The Entire Built World

My friends and colleagues at CREtech had me on their Webcast series to discuss how COVID-19 has caused corporations, tenants, residents and developers to rethink their entire approach to work and place making. The massive disruption in the built world, caused by the pandemic, will have a far reaching and lasting impact on how spaces are designed, built and occupied as well as how cities are transformed as a result. Joined by fellow experts from the worlds of smart cities and buildings, architecture, design, and construction, we offered a long view on how the entire physical world of commercial real estate will be transformed in both the short and long term. Click to watch above.

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September 07, 2020  |  permalink

The Atlantic Council’s “The Future is Here”


A few months ago, the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative — where I have a non-resident senior fellow since 2015 — interviewed me as part of a series of post-COVID perspectives from the roster of fellows.

Last week, a portion of that interview appeared in the council’s weekly newsletter as part of a discussion on the “bubbles,” “pods,” and “quaranteams” appearing in international relations as well as domestic life:

In a recent interview with the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks initiative, where he is a nonresident senior fellow, Greg Lindsay wondered what other “new zones of influence” beyond those between states will emerge as a result of the pandemic.

“Networks of cities [are] forming and cooperating,” and powerful individuals and organizations are “offering policy advice and resources” to governments, noted Lindsay, the director of applied research at NewCities and a partner at FutureMap. Citing the Canadian government’s deal with Amazon to distribute medical equipment, he observes that “we are seeing national supply chains that are increasingly becoming orthogonal when it comes to nation states.” 

The bottom line: In this more fluid era, the United States and its allies will have new opportunities to work together and increase their influence in the world. One major challenge, however, is that the United States is still struggling to contain the virus while many of its partners have for now made more progress in doing so.

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September 03, 2020  |  permalink

The Big Rethink: Technology vs. Democracy with Bianca Wylie

September 2, 2020. How do you solve a problem like Big Tech? Break them up! That’s the recommendation of the Open Markets Institute’s Barry Lynn and sci-fi author Cory Doctorow, both of whom published big takes this week on how to regulate tech giants. It also worries this week’s guest Bianca Wylie, the public technology advocate famous for rallying opposition against the now-canceled Sidewalk Toronto project, which has since re-emerged in Michigan as an autonomous toll road proposal. The problem, she argues, isn’t technology or data, but what we expect from our public servants and democracy itself.

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September 03, 2020  |  permalink

Cheddar: Why the Monorail Keeps Failing

Cheddar’s Antonella Crescimbeni was kind enough to interview me for her segment on why monorails are the future… and always will be. Click through to the 3:00 mark for my first appearance.

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August 31, 2020  |  permalink

The Big Rethink: From COVID-Flight to Fire with Christopher Cabaldon

August 27, 2020. While California wildfires rage and Hurricane Laura makes landfall on the Gulf Coast, “managed retreat” appears on the front page of The New York Times. Meanwhile, a “K-shaped” economic recovery is widening economic inequality; Amazon and FedEx are ghostwriting legislation to allow robots on sidewalks; and Airbnb promises “work from home” really means “work from someone else’s home” as it prepares its IPO. This week, Greg Lindsay interviews West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon about the wildfires, climate refugees, and whether Bay Area residents are really landing on his doorstep.

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August 20, 2020  |  permalink

The Big Rethink: Post-Pandemic Planning with Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman

This week, Greg Lindsay introduces the Millennial Metric on where America’s most misunderstood generation will move to raise their families and why; recaps the latest exchanges in the are-cities-dead? debate, and covers gleams of hope from Barcelona and Bogotá. He’s joined this week by THINK.urban’s Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman to discuss community engagement during fears of contagion, what more equitable planning looks like, and what her beach vacation tells us about our changing relationship with cities and nature.

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August 20, 2020  |  permalink

The Big Rethink: Makeshift Mobility with Benjamin de la Peña

Welcome to the all-new, all-different Big Rethink: half pandemic week in review, half interview with a different guest each week. For this second beta test episode, we’re joined by Benjamin de la Peña, author of the Makeshift Mobility newsletter and founder/director of Agile City Partners. We discuss how informal transportation in the Global South has responded to the pandemic, and what lessons they offer for public transit and startups alike in the Global North.

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August 20, 2020  |  permalink

CoMotion LIVE: Follow the Money

Most of the popular conversation around AVs touches on either technical capabilities or safety. But what are the second and third-order complications when autonomous vehicles become commonplace? How will inexpensive and continuous delivery change retail business models? How will autonomy change real estate patterns in urban cores and exurban peripheries? And how will investors choose to bet on these new possibilities?

We dived into these thorny questions on Wednesday, August 19th, on an important episode of CoMotion LIVE: Follow the Money: How AVs Will Reshape Cities & Society.

Join AV experts and provocative thinkers like Henry Greenidge, Fellow-In-Residence at the NYU McSilver Institute of Poverty Policy & Research, where he focuses on the intersection between race, poverty, transportation, and urban technology (and former head of regional public affairs for Cruise); Karina Ricks, Director of Mobility & Infrastructure for the City of Pittsburgh; Anthony Townsend, author of Ghost Road, a new and acclaimed book analyzing the profound impacts of the autonomous revolution; and Kevin Webb, Co-Director of SharedStreets, an organization that builds software, digital infrastructure, and governance frameworks to support new ways of managing and sharing the data that keeps cities moving.

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August 11, 2020  |  permalink

CoMotion LIVE: Is Concrete the New Gold?

Dueling delivery companies. Armies of gig workers primed to drop off packages at breakneck speed. A full color spectrum of scooters, TNCs and e-bike options to choose from at the push of a button. The curb has always been a congested place, but in recent months the competition for limited access to it has reached a fever pitch, with a cavalcade of mobility operators fighting for turf, while cities work to manage who gets a slice, what data companies have to provide in return, and how much to charge for it.

Find out how the battle for the curb is playing out, on a special edition of CoMotion LIVE: Is Concrete the New Gold? Curb Access, Mobility Data, and the Battle over the Public Right of Way.

We assembled a crack team of urban experts to discuss and debate every angle of this hot topic: Regina Clewlow, CEO & Co-Founder of Populus, a data platform that works with both cities and private operators to better manage shared mobility; Jeff Marootian, Director of DC’s Department of Transportation – a city on the leading edge of the new mobility & Vision Zero revolutions – and former White House Liaison and Assistant Secretary for Administration at the United States Department of Transportation; Marla Westervelt, who leads Community & Partnerships in North America and Asia-Pacific for MobilityData, a new nonprofit working to increase the efficiency of mobility alternatives, and the developer of the GTFS & GBFS data feeds that underpin so many new mobility options; and David Zipper, a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government, where he examines the interplay between urban policy and new mobility technologies.

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About Greg Lindsay

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is the director of applied research at NewCities and director of strategy at its mobility offshoot CoMotion.  He is also a partner at FutureMap, a geo-strategic advisory firm based in Singapore, a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

» More about Greg Lindsay

Articles by Greg Lindsay

Fast Company  |  March 2020

How to design a smart city that’s built on empowerment—not corporate surveillance

URBAN-X  |  December 2019


CityLab  |  December 10, 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility in San Francisco, Boston, and Detroit

Harvard Business Review  |  September 24, 2018

Why Companies Are Creating Their Own Coworking Spaces

CityLab  |  July 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility + U.S. Cities

Medium  |  May 1, 2017

The Engine Room

Fast Company  |  January 19, 2017

The Collaboration Software That’s Rejuvenating The Young Global Leaders Of Davos

The Guardian  |  January 13, 2017

What If Uber Kills Public Transport Instead of Cars

Backchannel  |  January 4, 2017

The Office of the Future Is…an Office

New Cities Foundation  |  October 2016

Now Arriving: A Connected Mobility Roadmap for Public Transport

Inc.  |  October 2016

Why Every Business Should Start in a Co-Working Space

Popular Mechanics  |  May 11, 2016

Can the World’s Worst Traffic Problem Be Solved?

The New Republic  |  January/February 2016

Hacking The City

Fast Company  |  September 22, 2015

We Spent Two Weeks Wearing Employee Trackers: Here’s What We Learned

Fast Company  |  September 21, 2015

HR Meets Data: How Your Boss Will Monitor You To Create The Quantified Workplace

Inc.  |  March 2015

Which Contacts Should You Keep in Touch With? Let This Software Tell You

Inc.  |  March 2015

5 Global Cities of the Future

Global Solution Networks  |  December 2014

Cities on the Move

Medium  |  November 2014

Engineering Serendipity

New York University  |  October 2014

Sin City vs. SimCity

» See all articles


September 21, 2020

The Big Rethink: Can’t Stop Columbus with Jordan Davis

September 15, 2020

CREtech Consulting Talks: Reimagining Cities and The Entire Built World

September 07, 2020

The Atlantic Council’s “The Future is Here”

September 03, 2020

The Big Rethink: Technology vs. Democracy with Bianca Wylie

» More blog posts