If we can expect that cities like New York will be exposed to more frequent and intense hurricanes in the future, how can they be made more resilient? What if GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile technology were completely ubiquitous in all parts of the city, including the poorest parts? Stories abound of massive lineups at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts for people without power and Internet after Irene. Universal Wi-Fi would allow evacuees to get the latest information on the storm.
What’s the Big Idea?
What if the entire transit system—buses, light rail, metro, and subway—were all connected with real-time digital systems? What if they could be shut down and turned on like we turn on and off our lights? What if, in the event of a major storm, evacuation, or terrorist attack, administrators could instantly re-route all transit and reverse the direction of the metro lines so that they all leave the city? While there are few examples of transit systems this smart yet, pieces of these solutions already exist.