Skip to content

A smart city is more than flying cars and sensors

Only a few decades ago, when you’d hit a pothole or spotted a broken street light, you’d have to know somebody who knew somebody in the public works department in order to get it fixed.

The process of reporting and addressing these issues tended to be ad-hoc, disorganized, and arguably un-democratic, says Northeastern professor Dan O’Brien.

Then in 1996, Baltimore, Maryland implemented a system that enabled residents to report problems that didn’t require immediate attention directly to their local government. The program, called 311, unclogged the city’s emergency lines, and soon hundreds of other cities and towns had followed suit with their own 311 programs.

Read the full story on News@Northeastern.

More Stories

Storytelling takes center stage at the women who empower summit


Twitter has banned political ads. Is Facebook next?


A long-shot republican presidential candidate sees a path to the party convention. He’s not dreaming.