Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator Launches Project to Design 21st Century Cities from Scratch

By: | August 10th, 2016

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley (hoto by Nouhailler

IndustryTap has reported on the world’s fastest supercomputers that execute 20 trillion calculations per second, a global smart cities market that will reach $2 trillion by 2020, and China’s use of supercomputers to design smart cities.

Now YCombinator, the startup accelerator and investment company that hatched Airbnb, Dropbox, and Instacart, is leading the charge to bring together companies and investors to eventually build a prototype utopian city. The project goal is to build utopian cities or “Valley Cities” from scratch rather than trying to bring old cities into the modern age.

As the Chinese have come to realize, modernizing old cities can be work intensive, expensive, and politically controversial. Leveling decades or centuries old structures and replacing them with modern infrastructure and buildings is not an easy path forward.

Burgeoning World Population Requires Supersmart Cities

By 2050, 2 out of 3 people will live in large cities.

Following are questions the new Y Combinator project is attempting to answer:

  • What should a city optimize for?
  • How should we measure the effectiveness of a city (what are its KPIs [key performance indictors])?
  • What values should (or should not) be embedded in a city’s culture?
  • How can we make and keep housing affordable? This is critical to us; the cost of housing affects everything else in a city.
  • How can we lay out the public and private spaces (and roads) to make a great place to live? Can we figure out better zoning laws?
  • What is the right role for vehicles in a city? Should we have human-driven cars at all?
  • How can we have affordable high-speed transit to and from other cities?

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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