Our Solutions

Milestones

1928

US scientist Buckminster Fuller proposed using future computers to ‘fly Spaceship Earth’ and equitably balance the planet’s resources.

1940s-1970s

Fuller developed this idea as the Geoscope and World Game. Alan Turing’s team in England developed the Enigma machine to crack coded messages. Many other electronic research advances emerged from cybernetics researchers.

Since the 1980s

Complex stone elements on Antoni Gaudi’s half-finished Sagrada Familia Cathedral are being digitally prototyped by spatial information architect Mark Burry and others.

1989

US computer guru Will Wright launched Sim City, a popular video game in which players interact with the complex evolutionary processes of developing a city.

1992

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Sciences and Technology opened the Earth Simulator Center, an array of supercomputers near Yokohama, to simulate Nature as a virtual planet.

1995-1997

Commercialisation of internet and other wireless communications technologies triggered the ‘online digital age’. Tim Berners-Lee, now at MIT, was annointed ‘Father of the Internet’. Key books about digital urban futures were published by Nicholas Negroponte, William J. Mitchell, Bill Gates, John Frazer, Bill Hillier, Peter Droege and others.

1998

US Presidential candidate Al Gore presented the vision for a digital Earth in a speech at the California Science Centre in Los Angeles.

1999

The first International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE) was held in Beijing. It evolved into a series of symposia and summits, with the International Society of Digital Earth officially formed at the summit in Auckland in May 2006.

2005

UK mathematician Mike Batty published Cities and Complexity to explain new digital systems for detecting urban behaviour patterns.

2005

MIT‘s William J. Mitchell and Carlo Ratti formed cross-discipline teams to use digital systems to organise telecommunications and transport. Many other MIT professors and PhD students previously contributed important telecommunications advances which underpin the evolving histories of data cities and digital Earth.

2008

The d_city network was soft-launched in Sydney during the Metropolis major city governments congress, October.

2009

IBM launched a global branding campaign, Let’s Build A Smarter Planet, with Smarter Cities as a sub-theme.

2009

The International Society for Digital Earthbegan a process to adopt the d_city project.

2009

Lobbying continued to include in the Copenhagen Accord a clause supporting the d_city network concept. The final agreement, signed by more than 100 national governments, promised both a ‘Technology Mechanism’ and more than $US100b in ‘Green Climate’ funding to solve challenges in developing countries.

2010

UN-HABITAT announced the World Urban Campaign at its fifth World Urban Forum in Rio de Janiero and began a partnership to help develop the d_city network. Other relevant UN and other international peak bodies expressed interest in supporting the ‘technology network’.

2010

A process has begun to appoint a Global Research Leaders Group to thought-lead a chain of case studies towards Online Planning for Eco Cities. Chairing the Appointments Panel is Professor Saskia Sassen of Columbia University, author of The Global City.

2011 and beyond

Initial communications services for the d_city network will be launched at relevant international conferences.