Japan Times: Creating healthier ecosystems in future cities by rethinking urban areas from scratch

This from the Japan Times.

The mass production of affordable automobiles is perhaps one of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century. And due to that, many modern cities have been designed under the assumption that cars are a necessity and almost require residents to own vehicles to get around.

Joichi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, believes that such “zoned” cities are unsustainable. With more technological development — including shared, compact electric vehicles and affordable, “transformable” apartments — future cities will have a higher density of people while creating healthier ecosystems, he said.

“I think technology is what caused the cities to be formed in the first place,” Ito said during a recent interview in Tokyo. “I think that as different technologies become common and become part of the infrastructure, the nature of cities changes.”

But when it comes to technology and urban planning or city development, many of the latest technological changes have not been reflected.

“The big change that’s happened recently is information technology. I don’t think that the urban planning and city design has reflected very well yet the changes in the technological landscape,” said Ito, 47, who along with working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is also on the boards of companies including Sony Corp. and The New York Times.

Here's the rest of the article.