High rise number 432 Park Avenue in NYC will have a total residential real estate value of $ 3.12 Billion. To put it in perspective that would make it more valuable than all the real estate value of major U S cities like Concord, NH, Trenton NJ, Juneau or even fuddy old Yankee Hartford Ct. We have to hand it to the braves or the fools of the current wild west view, that there are enough of the 1% around, to flip these properties. Fortune Magazine reported conservatively in its Dec issue, ‘The High-Rise Goes Nuts’ and for Fortune to talk like this, I had to sit up and listen. NYC, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other towers of the rich and famous came to mind, and the economic divide now splits the skyline in all its majesty.
All I wish for is that the much smarter civic action towards building the next smart cities required for human progress could get similar funding. While the billionaires are entitled to their stunning views there is a lot of other infrastructure that could be built with such large pools of money. The point being that there is enough capital to go around and I don’t mean to pick on Park Ave in particular and it is just an example. If capital can be invested into the new infrastructure required for smart cities, it will raise productivity and have its own upwards trajectory, by a corresponding increase of required and essential services.
When billions of people worldwide subsist on one dollar per day, we are a far cry from lifting people out of poverty, much less talk of smart cities. The contrast in prosperity between the top and the bottom can be erased if concrete steps are taken. We have today the means to improve the lives on one of the largest scales in human history. We are talking about the improvement in the lives of billions as compared to the few. The scale of human development in the next century should far outpace anything that we have seen in the last century.
We now have the technology and the knowledge to come up with a greener and more ecofriendly system of co-existence with our co creatures on this planet. When developing smart cities we must also at the same time make arrangements for natural reserves for other species on earth to prosper. The Oceans, Earth and our vulnerable atmosphere must be recognized as such and legislation passed to protect it. We must ensure more renewable energy and natural development while using modern means. The challenge for the leaders of the new millennium is the lack of confidence in the global economy. The US can lead but we need other economic engines to also invest in this new global infrastructure for the greatest good.
If we all rise to the need of the hour, to provide the needs of these billions; it will also ensure, an upward cycle of mobility. The beneficial effects of education, culture and the provisions of modern life for residential populations of these smart cities, will attract more and more populations; as they succeed in eradicating poverty. The internet of everything is coming whether we like it or not, and will need all its trappings. It will be a resource hungry world, and how we manage this supply and usage; will be the lessons learned, in the future. For now we just need the will, to move in the right direction; to build what is needed, for our future generations. Building for tomorrow has to start today!