When nothing happened the New York Times did an investigative piece on why San Francisco, cool capital of innovation couldn't adopt urban innovation. That did the trick: the program launches formally next month.
During the summer hackers pushed the city to make real time transit data available to employees who worked for the transit system, not just riders
Summer of Smart (#sfSos), a summer-long experiment in urban innovation designed to bring designers, artists and coders together to drum up technical solutions to San Francisco's most pressing social issues using public data. The experiment is the brainchild of The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, a San Francisco-based idea incubator fostering thought around digital culture (The Bay Citizen is a Summer of Smart media partner).
It was sweltering last Sunday in San Francisco, but very cool on the first floor of the old Chronicle building. There was a keg, an ice chest full of spiked lemonade and 50 or so creative types in jeans, their knees bouncing, ready to present the results of last weekend's "makeathon." They'd been charged with reimagining a two-block pocket of the city at Fifth and Mission streets—in 48 hours or less.
In the pantheon of Next Big Thing trends, the concept of “smart cities” is one of the trendiest.
The idea is that by harvesting the incredible amount of data “exhaust” that every one of us generates as we traverse a city, planners can optimize services in the city to make them more efficient, cleaner and cheaper. But there is a fear that such top-down programs may threaten the very vitality that attracts people to cities in the first place.