01:53 - Source: CNN
Should smart cities build from scratch?

Story highlights

Unfulfilled promises of superwired smart cities spark a dubious backlash

Expert: Stifling U.S. bureaucracy and fear of risk stand in the way

Some U.S. cities are embedding data sensors in energy grids, buildings, traffic hubs

Smart tech could save billions of dollars and reduce energy use, traffic jams, carbon pollution

Explore the City of Tomorrow, Saturday, July 26 at 2 p.m. ET on CNN.

CNN —  

Years ago, experts told the world that the Internet would radically change our cities. A lot of us are still waiting.

How cool, they said. Cities will be able to use the language of data to virtually talk to us, sharing information so communities can become superefficient, saving untold billions of dollars. Traffic management would untangle our commutes. Carbon emissions would plummet.

Life, they said, would get a little easier.

Well, some of this stuff is actually happening in places around the world. But in many other cities, businesses and governments have been … moving … kind of … slow.

So. What’s the hold up? Where’s my talking city?

Apparently all those predictions a few years ago resulted in a dubious backlash, says Constantine Kontokosta, department director at New York’s Center for Urban Science and Progress.