IBM’s efforts to add ‘intelligence’ to cities – and thus make them more manageable – is an ongoing effort. While what they’ve developed in Rio is interesting, I suspect that several facets of the ‘defence mechanism’ obfuscate residents’ economic realities.
Specifically, the video notes that residents of favelas may receive text messages that warn of oncoming disasters. This is good, but misses the point that a warning system without a capacity to absorb/protect residents who are fleeing poorly-build environments is effectively useless.
While the IBM ‘smart city’ project may make the city more intelligent, and improve daily operations, such intelligence doesn’t necessarily mean that the city can temporarily house residents of favelas in ‘safe’ areas of the city if a major disaster occurs. Unfortunately, the sale of technology in this video obfuscates this key truth of disaster preparation.