Welcome to season four of ARCHITECT's podcast. Listen to more episodes here.

These days, companies in every sector from lighting and software to energy and automobiles seem to tout expertise in smart cities. Major cities and even states are vying to become the smartest of them all. But what is a smart city? Why are companies across industries jumping into the fray? And how can architects contribute their experience and expertise?

In this podcast episode, ARCHITECT speaks with three experts with firsthand knowledge, insights, and opinions about the lure of smart cities: Paul Doherty, an architect and the chairman and CEO of the international company The Digit Group (TDG); Debra Lam, managing director of the Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation initiative at Georgia Tech, founder of the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, and the former chief of innovation and performance for the city of Pittsburgh; and Anthony Townsend, founder of New York–based Bits and Atoms and author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia (W.W. Norton & Co., 2013).

Left to Right: Paul Doherty, Debra Lam, Anthony Townsend
Paul Doherty photo by Val Westover Left to Right: Paul Doherty, Debra Lam, Anthony Townsend

Excerpts from this roundtable, including several questions not included in this episode due to time, appeared in text form in the January 2019 issue of ARCHITECT under the headline "What Is a Smart City? We're Working On It." Read the online version of that article here.

Episode 28: What Is a Smart City? Listen to Three Experts Debate, featuring Paul Doherty, Debra Lam, and Anthony Townsend, is also available on SoundCloud and on iTunes.

This podcast episode was produced by Wanda Lau, Lauren Honesty, and Daniel Tayag.