00:01So we've talked about transforming all of India. What a vision. Jim is working on transforming journalism.
00:12I like to call it geojournalism. Isn't that cool? Pretty good idea.
00:17It's a great idea.
00:18This is my colleague Hugh Keegan, and we're going to talk about another kind of transformation.
00:25This transformation is about, what would you call it, Saul? Comparing cities, something like that. Understanding.
00:36This is a transformation of understanding. Several years ago, Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED, spoke here...
00:43...and he inspired us with a vision of being able to compare multiple cities around the world online.
00:50You would open up a city and compare one city to another.
00:54Hugh and his team have been working with Saul for a couple years and they've actually realized this.
01:00It's called the Urban Observatory, and it's expressed in two forms.
01:04First, a cool website that gets released when?
01:09Now. And second, incredible display. I mean it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
01:16It's living upstairs, and you're going to see it tonight.
01:19So, Hugh, why don't you actually show what this looks like, because it's...
01:23...and you might explain it better than I would. Hugh's a landscape architect, by the way.
01:30First of all, the Urban Observation site, it is live. Please visit it.
01:36I'm going to show you a little preview of the exhibit upstairs that's over here in the lower right-hand corner.
01:40Take a look at it. There's a really nice interview between Jack and Richard that talks about that. Alright, don't do that.
01:47So all of you might have found a poster in your seat this morning.
01:52That's kind of a status map of where we are with this project, and you can see that there are hundreds of maps.
01:58These are all multiscale maps. These are all published on ArcGIS Online. There's an Urban Observatory group.
02:04So the idea here is that cities can publish their own data and share it, and this is a totally democratic kind of idea.
02:12Come on ArcGIS Online. Come on ArcGIS Online. There you go.
02:17So you can see that we've got some data from Paris.
02:20We have a business partner that contributed some data to us which is great...
02:23...and thanks to all the municipalities and third-party business partners and distributors who helped us collect data for this.
02:29But let me just show you what the Urban Observatory's really about...
02:32...which is this application and the ability to compare things.
02:35So there are two huge ideas here that Richard developed in the 1960s. I hate to say it, Richard, but it's true.
02:43He doesn't look that old.
02:45If you're going to compare stuff, draw them at the same size.
02:50And if you're going to compare things, make sure you're representing them in the same way, they're drawn the same way.
02:57So in this case, we're looking at Mumbai 20 million people, New York City 20 million people...
03:04...Los Angeles, the area we're looking at, about 13 million people.
03:08So you might have some impression about...
03:09...I mean, did you know that Mumbai is only about a quarter the size of New York? It's got the same number of people.
03:15I didn't. I knew it had a lot of people, but I didn't know it had that many people.
03:19So the other big idea here is that we've intentionally called this an observatory...
03:25...and not a museum, because we want to have live data. We want stuff to be showing up all the time.
03:33So in this case, we're showing traffic, and this is real-time traffic.
03:36So, you know, you probably don't want to be driving in Manhattan right now.
03:41And London, surprisingly, always seems to have traffic.
03:45People have challenged me about, you know, is that data right? It's like, yeah, I think it's right.
03:49It's the middle of the night. It's still the middle of the night. It's nine hours ahead but still they've got congestion problems.
03:55So if we actually go back and look at that, and we're just going through a subset of these cities.
04:02There's all these comparisons you can make. My initial reaction when I saw this is...
04:07...Oh, we've got some bad data for Tokyo. Looks like bad data in Tokyo.
04:11In fact, the highest posted speed limit in Japan is 100 kilometers per hour, about 62 miles per hour.
04:17Compare that to LA which is the, you know, the universe of car traffic, and if we zoom in here...
04:26...you can see that Tokyo actually has a pretty good high-speed arterial system...
04:32...which the congestion charge zone in London does not, which is why it costs you £10 to drive in London.
04:41It's pretty interesting. Very interesting. At least I think it's interesting.
04:45So we're talking about traffic, and there's lots of other ways of mapping traffic, and we like cities contribute their...
04:51...if we were to look at public transit, we'd see a totally different picture between LA and Los Angeles, of course.
04:59But let's look at density here. And, again, a reminder, Mumbai 20 million people...
05:03...Tokyo about 32 million people, LA 13 million people, the area we're looking at.
05:10And let me bring up a legend here, so this might look a little strange here.
05:14Pink at the highest category, 30,000 people per square kilometer.
05:20And what we're trying to do here is - these maps - when we make a map...
05:25...Jim and Andy Skinner have put these together so that we're doing dasymetric mapping.
05:31We're trying to associate population with actual structures or with infrastructure in towns.
05:37So you can see that Mumbai's got a lot of buildings, a lot of buildings, and there's a lot of people living in them.
05:47So let's keep going on in this theme. So if you're going to have high population...
05:52...what are cities doing in terms of providing open space for their citizens?
05:57We're not going to call out any names here.
06:00You can draw your own comparisons, but let's drop another city in here and compare it across the board...
06:10...or even some place like this, Singapore, about 5 million people. It's pretty interesting.
06:18Wow. That's very interesting, because in Singapore it's little corridors.
06:21In Paris, open spaces everywhere. That's why I love Paris. LA - LA's gone.
06:28Alright. So this is a theme that Richard has used on us many times before.
06:32You only understand something relative to something you already understand. So you know Paris.
06:38It creates a sensation for you. So we can bring that when we start comparing cities to one another. Right?
06:46So this is another really interesting comparison, at least it is to me.
06:51If we look at Abu Dhabi, we can see that young people, and these are kids 18 and younger...
06:56...are kind of distributed throughout the community. Johannesburg, we've got these intense clusters...
07:02...and in Tokyo you have this really fascinating phenomena where the kids are distributed...
07:06...almost homogenously across the entire population, across every census reporting district.
07:12But if we switch this to seniors, and this is not a trick, what's going on in Abu Dhabi?
07:20Well, the seniors in Abu Dhabi get to live next to the coast and there's these two really beautiful parks.
07:26There's the lake park and the family park, and that's where all the seniors are.
07:31And in Johannesburg, you might have noticed there's a lot fewer seniors than there are kids.
07:37And in Tokyo, it's just the opposite.
07:39There are more people over the age of 65 in Tokyo than there are kids under the age of 14.
07:46That's very powerful. A really interesting phenomena.
07:48And we see the same sort of thing happening in Hamburg and other cities.
07:51So I'd encourage you guys to all try and use this application. It's on the Urban Observatory site.
07:57It doesn't have this URL. It's just Urban Observatory/compare and begin using it later on today.
08:04Come up and see the exhibit. And if you represent a municipal government or an organization...
08:10...that has authoritative data about the behavior of municipal governments...
08:14...we'd love to talk to you and get you to publish your stuff into the Urban Observatory group.
08:19And Jack has actually made this really easy, because he's made it free.
08:24There's details about participation on the Urban Observatory website.
08:28That's good. Thank you so much, Hugh.
08:29Were you going to mention something else about the www stuff, Jack?
08:33Well, maybe. I was first going to show the picture of the exhibit.
08:42So just to sort of - it's a little light out there now.
08:44But as it gets darker in the evening, these screens come through.
08:49And it has like helicopter flights over each city.
08:54Simulated, next to each other.
08:56We didn't have the budget to do the real helicopter flights.
08:57I know. You wanted to go to Paris.
09:01And it also has maps like Hugh was showing, one relative to the other...
09:05...but on 10 cities at a time, and they scroll through. It's pretty overwhelming.
09:09And it moves because there's more than 10 cities. There's only 10 cities at a time displayed.
09:14But it'll give you a sense of what this is about. We want a hundred cities.
09:18And the purpose of this is to, I don't know.
09:23What? Fifty percent of the populations living in cities now.
09:26In 30 years, 70 percent. Michael Batty says at the end of the century, 100 percent of the population will be in a city.
09:33So we have an opportunity to decide how cities might evolve and what we want them to provide to us as citizens.
09:41We're comparative animals. We're checking this versus that, and as we have a search for making it better...
09:48...more livable cities, we want to look at what best practices represent.
09:53And when you go up there tonight, you're going to be really overwhelmed.
09:57So first, I want to thank Richard for letting us work on his project. It's pretty amazing.
10:02Yeah. It's been great.
10:04Thank you, Richard.
10:05Thank you, Richard.
10:14I also want to thank him for something else.
10:16Last fall, he organized a conference in our campus called the www.www Conference. Richard knows about conferences.
10:25He started TED and ran it for many years. This was a conference which had very few attendees.
10:33It was just basically the people who talk with each other, and he developed a new style of communication.
10:39He calls it improvised conversation or intellectual jazz.
10:44And he's been very kind to build this into an app, but he's building it into an app...
10:51...but he's been very kind to give us, everybody attending this conference, Richard, a free copy of this.
10:57You'll be able to enjoy 33 hours of very interesting conversation between these people.
11:03And, frankly, watching this was one of the greatest events of my life. So, Richard, thank you, once again.