The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Scarce urban resources

Listicle, based on personal experience and some seminars at FCL on smart cities, and the share economy rhetoric, I’m thinking about some urban resources that are possibly sub-optimally allocated in the sense that people are on average worse off with the current mechanism than with conceivable alternatives. There are probably even profitable business plans involved in solving some of these, although you not only have to capture private value from solving a public problem to get that funded, you also have to frame it in terms of smartphone apps. In an effective democracy one imagines, this might be a question of straight optimal mechanism design, in porder to extract maximal overall return rather than optimal return for direct investors.

SENSEable argues that shared automatic vehicles can reduce this by 80%. Possibly non-automatic shared vehicles could help just as much for cheaper, but that’s a harder marketing pitch, and sounds hippy as opposed to techno-utopian.

Poorly-allocated corollaries