Studio-X NYC hosted Fast Company's Greg Lindsay and the Institute for the Future's Anthony Townsend on February 21, 2012 for the first in a new series of events that will cast a much-needed critical eye on "smart city" hype.

Lindsay and Townsend are calling the series "X-Cities," where X marks the spot at which information technology and mega-urbanization converge. In this first session, the pair laid out their respective cases for the top-down, intelligent design of "smart cities" versus the bottom-up evolution of crowd-sourced "civic laboratories." Is information technology a real tool for city-building? And, if so, what is its bright and/or scary future?

Lindsay and Townsend also laid the groundwork for future X-Cities sessions this spring, which feature a stellar list of participants responding to questions on how the relationship between cities and government is being reshaped by ubiquitous computing, what role the private sector will play, how smart technology might redesign the physical fabric of the city, and what the limits on data sharing in tomorrow's open cities should be.

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