Have you ever wondered which are the most technologically advanced and futuristic cities in America?
On October 21, 2015, the world celebrated “Back to the Future Day” — the date to which Marty McFly travels into the future from 1985. We’re still waiting on a proper hoverboard, though the Chinese-made personal scooters known as “hoverboards” are very popular and surprisingly affordable. (Look for a teen using one to uncouthly trip over a curb, coming soon to a city near you.) T-shirts and mugs wear the slogan “Where’s My Flying Car?” when we’re just beginning to make good electric and hybrid vehicles.
So the future doesn’t yet look exactly as we pictured it. This idea isn’t new; people have been overestimating their cultures’ future technologies for at least a hundred years, and reading classic science fiction from Jules Verne or H.G. Wells reminds us that our imaginations always have one foot in the real contemporary world. We’ve shared the 10 most technologically advanced cities in the world. What, then, does it mean to be one of the 15 most technologically advanced and futuristic cities in America?
This can’t be measured by any one parameter, so I’ve combined existing research into one master list: the Urban Land Institute, PC World, CNN, Government Technology, and City Data all listed futuristic cities with the best adoption of smart technology, connectivity, and more. Each city received one point for each list appearance. To break any ties, I added up to 1 point for the percentage of a city’s residents who have internet access using statistics compiled by Governing Magazine. Even so, there’s still one exact tie in the list!
The U.S. government enforces strong regulations on the companies that can or can’t apply for technology contracts, part of an effort designed to make the process fair and equal but which really hinders progress. For an entertaining take on this issue, check out an episode of podcast Reply All on the topic — and read more about the Estonian government’s embrace of technology that they mention in the show.
GE partnered with the World Economic Forum to research how technology is brought into cities, and some of the obstacles to progress. “Upgrading of infrastructure for the digital age is no easy task,” author Sarah Murray writes. “And the obstacles cities face should not be underestimated. Not only is it counterproductive to install technologies such as smart meters before ageing [sic] infrastructure—such as outdated substations—has been modernised, it is hard to turn off the power while upgrades are being installed.”
Without further ado, we bring you 15 most technologically advanced and futuristic cities in America!