Information network concept. Smart city.

In May, the Diet passed a “super cities” bill designed to help cities and towns build digital infrastructure though partnerships with private-sector technology companies. Selected cities will apply artificial intelligence and big data to areas like transport, municipal administration, medical care, education, utilities and crime prevention, with the aim of making public services more efficient and user-friendly.
The initiative is part of a wave of revived interest worldwide in so-called smart cities. Chizuru Suga, head of the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Japan, tells Jonathan Soble what the digital cities of the future have to offer — and what pitfalls need to be avoided to ensure they serve citizens’ interests first.

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