Smart Cities

The Psychology of Smart Cities: Lessons from the Past

Why do some urban spaces attract crowds of happy visitors whilst others sit barren and empty? There are many studies designed to uncover the bad consequences of over-crowding, but what about under-crowding? These are some of the fundamental questions asked by William H. Whyte (1917-1999), widely considered to be the godfather of urban psychology. Whyte’s pioneering, and data centric, approach to human behavior in urban settings has had an immeasurable impact on urban planning. Despite much of his work being 30, 40, even 50 years old, the emergence of the smart city means his work may be more relevant than ever. A Princeton graduate, Whyte served as an advisor to Laurence S. Rockefeller on environmental issues and as a key planning consultant for major U.S. cities, traveling and lecturing widely. He was a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College of the City University of New York and a trustee of the American Conservation Association, and he […]

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