Greg Lindsay's Blog

May 15, 2022  |  permalink

Reaping the Whirlwind: My Spring Speaking Travel

The good news is that after nearly two years with no live events (and a corresponding smoking crater in my bank account), I’ve had the busiest spring in my 10+ year career as an infotainer. That’s also the bad news, as lurching from a few quiet years at home to full-throttle travel also means a lot of wear-and-tear on family and home. But to be honest, I haven’t let that stop me — it just feels great to be back in the world again, sharing ideas and reconnecting with old friends. I’m writing this update from New York City, which feels as vital and alive as it ever did. Cities are back. I’m back.

That said, here’s a whirlwind tour of my travel this spring/summer — where I’ve been and where I’m headed next, in chronological order.

The year kicked off with a trip to Raleigh for the North Carolina Transportation Summit, followed by returning home and catching COVID from my child’s daycare. (That’s always how it goes.) The next month I was back on the road, starting with a visit to Continental’s Contitech North American sales conference to talk about the future of mobility and energy. From there it was off to Orlando for the International Builder Show — a mammoth event on the future of home — and then onto Scottsdale for Tiger 21.

After a breather, I was off to Austin for Coldwell Banker Commercial’s Global Conference (above), then zig-zagging back-and-forth across the country for Cartus in Santa Barbara, Citywire in Miami (below), and the National Association of Realtors in Phoenix. Then it was off to Vegas for the Expedia Group’s massive EXPLORE22 confab (top), followed by Houston for the real estate developer Hines, where I was joined onstage by friends and colleagues including Richard Florida and Ayesha Khanna. And now here I am.

From here, I’m off to Miami next week for the International Fresh Produce Association, followed by another whirlwind in June with trips to Toronto for Coldwell Banker; British Columbia and Nova Scotia for Kal Tire; Washington for Bonaventure Holdings, and more this summer and fall. Stay safe as the next wave of Omicron sweeps through, and hopefully I’ll see you on the road soon.

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April 28, 2022  |  permalink

Utopia, Dystopia, and Everything In Between: CRE with CBC Worldwide

My spring of podcasts continues with Christina Balas, host of CRE with CBC Worldwide, which is produced by Coldwell Banker Commercial (which in turn was kind enough to invite me to speak at the CB Commercial Global Conference in March). We covered climate change, digital nomads, the future of work, and much, much more. You can listen on Spotify below, Apple Podcasts, and wherever else fine podcasts are streamed.

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April 26, 2022  |  permalink

Webfleet Mobility Conference: Mobility 2032

The folks at Webfleet — which as their name would indicate manages vehicle fleets in the cloud — graciously invited me to deliver the opening keynote at their virtual conference in April. Titled “Where the Robot Meets the Road,” my talk delved into the challenges of managing a future in which cities are full of autonomous stuff, not just vehicles. Here’s the official description:

Self-driving cars will prove to be the horseless carriage of autonomy, looking backward rather than charging ahead. The future of urban mobility promises to be much wilder, filled with new species of self-pro­pelled scooters, stores, and drone seemingly with a mind of their own. How are these techno­logies already trans­forming the way we see, understand, and get around cities? What new business models will emerge as the costs of autonomy plunge and the potential explodes? And what tools will cities need to track and regulate streets filled with self-driving stuff? Drawing upon his work with BMW, Intel, MIT, the Bloomberg Philan­thropies, the Aspen Institute, and NewCities, Greg Lindsay offers a tour of future urban mobility and how they promise to transform our cities in the coming decades.

My talk is available on demand at the conference Website. Register here to watch.

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March 26, 2022  |  permalink

Behind the Bricks Podcast

It’s officially podcast season! Next up is my recent interview with Behind the BricksPeter Von Der Ahe about the future of real estate — especially New York City real estate. Show notes below, and listen on Apple Podcasts at bottom.

Today we sit down with a man of many talents. Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a partner at the geo-strategic and climate advisory firm FutureMap, the senior fellow for applied research and foresight at NewCities, a senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, and a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative. Greg is an expert in urban planning with an eye and mind focused on the future. In this episode we discuss what lies ahead for real estate in New York City and the country. Interestingly, Greg is also a former Jeopardy Champion who actually defeated IBM’s Watson supercomputer… So without any further ado lets go Behind The Bricks… with Greg Lindsay.

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March 24, 2022  |  permalink

The Flow of Urban Life Podcast

NewCities alumnus and KONE director of smart and sustainable cities Tessina Czerwinski was kind enough to invite me to speak on the latest episode of the company’s podcast The Flow of Urban Life. We covered a lot of ground – from Jan Gehl to Tokyo’s exciting mixed-use mid-rise buildings, to the potential for a new urban aesthetic driven by the application of machine learning in architectural design. Show notes are below; you can listen on Soundcloud at bottom or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever quality podcasts are found.

Smart cities have always been using data to imagine a better future for urban inhabitants. In 2022, enhanced digitization continues to help us recognize greater opportunities for citizen participation within built environments, find new avenues for business growth, and identify previously ignored waste.  
 
As the next chapter of digitized, urban living continues to develop at pace, how can we ensure that the technology facilitating this shift is used ethically, delivers sustainable solutions to genuine end user problems, and creates greater opportunities for all?

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March 20, 2022  |  permalink

Unfrozen: London Calling

Over at Unfrozen, Dan Safarik and I are keeping the faith — and a regular podcast schedule — with a pair of episodes based on my spring break trip to London. The latter episode is an especially fun one: back-to-back readings of essays inspired by our respective walking tours with the former master planner of the City of London Corporation, Peter Rees. The next time you’re in London, if you can find him, you should do the same. Show notes below:

Episode 21 (above): Greg, fresh from a trip to London, shares with Dan updates and reminiscences of the hale old town in the throes of ever-later capitalism, doffing hats to its raconteur-in-chief, Peter Wynne Rees.

Episode 22 (below): Building on the momentum of Episode 21, this special episode is a back-to-back Rees attack, with Greg and Dan both relaying their respective reports from the City of London’s raconteur-in-chief, from 2017 and 2013, respectively.

And just for good measure, here’s last year’s podcast with the man himself!

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March 14, 2022  |  permalink

My Smart Community Podcast w/ Zoe Eather

My Smart Community’s Zoe Eather invited me on her podcast awhile back to discuss where “smart cities” went wrong and how to think about tech-enabled communities instead. You can read the complete show notes here and listen either at the bottom of this post or wherever fine podcasts are hosted. Here’s a teaser:

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast I have a fascinating conversation with Greg Lindsay. Greg is a journalist, urbanist, futurist and speaker and senior fellow for Applied Research and Foresight in New Cities in Montreal, Canada. In this episode Greg begins by telling us about his background in journalism and covering the dot com bubble 20 years ago, how he dates the beginning of Smart Cities and shares with us his journey to working in the Smart Cities space. Greg then shares with us what a Smart Community is to him, we discuss in length some of the common and most effective Smart Community themes we find help build better communities, and Greg then shares with us a bit about some of the projects he has been working on. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of augmented reality and what this can potentially mean for our communities. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

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February 11, 2022  |  permalink

IBS 2022: Rethinking How Cities Will Function After the Pandemic

(The National Association of Home Builders invited me to deliver a Spotlight talk at this year’s International Builders Show in Orlando, and Builder magazine was kind enough to write it up.)

Many of the early predictions about the future during the COVID-19 pandemic, including that cities would be emptied and that offices were finished, are not likely to hold true, according to Greg Lindsay of NewCities Foundation. Instead, the post-COVID world will reflect an environment where individuals have the capability to work from anywhere and require everything on demand, Lindsay shared during his education session “The Big Rethink: Cities After COVID” during the 2022 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida.

While there was a great migration away from cities during the early stages of the pandemic, the migration pattern has reversed during the past year. While many individuals still desire the space from their neighbors that is afforded by suburban life and require their homes to have a slightly different function than before the pandemic, cities are also highly desirable, according to Lindsay. Additionally, many firms are beginning to slowly move away from fully remote work because of the segmentation it has created in the workforce, another positive sign for the future of cities.

In addition to migration patterns, another major trend that has emerged during the pandemic is the rise of single-family rental homes and build-to-rent as a business model. Lindsay said the build-to-rent space will continue to emerge, and may even become a replacement for the starter home for some individuals.

“One of the biggest trends that’s come out of the pandemic is the huge surge in single-family rentals,” Lindsay said. “We’re seeing large companies now creating entire neighborhoods from scratch particularly in places that have seen a huge surge in migration and a shortage of housing. Perhaps given the incredible return on investment is that starter homes—the lowest rung of Americans being able to build wealth—is now being turned into a rental market. There’s a huge interest in this build-to-rent model, which arguably could be a big chunk of the future of American housing.”

Additionally, Lindsay said the emergence of quick commerce—a service where consumers can expect delivery within an hour of placing an order—is likely to have an impact on how communities are developed. Quick commerce has already led to the rise of “dark storefronts” in many cities, retail distribution centers or former brick-and-mortar stores that cater exclusively to online shoppers. The nature of quick commerce means the service radius of the store is relatively small, allowing for rapid delivery and almost on-demand service. However, as the trend continues to develop, Lindsay said it may become a selling point for communities and developments.

“People are going to scale this up and start combining it with all forms of mixed-use housing services,” Lindsay said. “Perhaps in the future, quick commerce will become an amenity and an offering. You can now get your groceries delivered in 15 minutes or less by servicers on staff.”

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February 03, 2022  |  permalink

The Weather Report #7

(Rainlight Studio’s Yorgo Lykouria invited me to chat a while back for a series of conversations dubbed “The Weather Report.” The tastefully-edited black-and-white video is above, the description below.)

In this edition Yorgo Lykouria talks to journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker Greg Lindsay. They discuss how we can all live in a post-pandemic world, including European nations’ responsibility for refugees and the impact of global warming in areas such as the Pacific Northwest. The conversation explores moving from urban conurbations to more rural areas and the concept of the fifteen minute city. They discuss the idea of being able to live, work and play, all within a quarter of an hour, with examples cited throughout the world from Paris to Manhattan to Amsterdam. The pair also touch upon the impacts of infrastructure of the 15 minute city, from dark stores to shipping containers as food trucks.

‘Weather Report’ is a conversation series driven by healthy curiosity and a desire to understand the world around us through the lens of design. We’ll feature Rainlight’s Creative Director, Yorgo Lykouria discussing topics with a variety of industry experts, futurists, and creatives. During these conversations, we’ll explore the perspectives of these leaders and thinkers touching on what they’re considering right now. We’ll also touch on topics as varied as design for climate change, the future of cities, material innovation, and design education.

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January 16, 2022  |  permalink

Interview with the London Speaker Bureau

(The London Speaker Bureau recently asked me for my views on post-pandemic cities, web3, and much more. If you like what you see, drop them a line!)

Greg Lindsay is the Senior Fellow for Applied Research and Foresight at NewCities, where he analyses what mobility and mixed-use development looks like in the future. He is a futurist, urbanist, critically acclaimed author and journalist. In this exclusive interview with Greg, he shares his expert insight on the future and the respective effects of AI, cities, the climate crisis, blockchain and innovation. We picked his brain on what our post-pandemic world looks like, and how and why so many things are changing.

Greg Lindsay works with many multinational organisations, helping them plot a course for the future. He discusses the “death of cities” notion and how “remote work and its instant adoption has led to massive changes for cities” all over the world. Innovation does not happen through increased productivity, but rather through serendipity. Greg provides a brilliant understanding on how and why we “need to work on bringing people back together in a new, innovative way”.

Climate change is another area of concern that Greg discusses, along with his opinion on the recent COP26 gathering, expressing that “its one thing for nation-state governments to talk about great pledges… but all the plans are insufficient”.

Artificial Intelligence and massive advances in technological innovation are a peak area of interest for Greg. He explores the future of AI, discussing that “a lot of artificial intelligence is being used, not to create new services to enhance productivity, but to suppress wages and push people down”, further delving into discussions surrounding “its not about when the robots will replace us, its about are we creating the right kinds of AI?” Greg shares his deep understanding of some of the most relevant and prominent issues of our time.

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About Greg Lindsay

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a partner at the geo-strategic and climate advisory firm FutureMap, the senior fellow for applied research and foresight at NewCities, a senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, and a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative.

» More about Greg Lindsay

Blog

May 15, 2022

Reaping the Whirlwind: My Spring Speaking Travel

April 28, 2022

Utopia, Dystopia, and Everything In Between: CRE with CBC Worldwide

April 26, 2022

Webfleet Mobility Conference: Mobility 2032

March 26, 2022

Behind the Bricks Podcast

» More blog posts

Articles by Greg Lindsay

-----  |  January 1, 2022

2022 Speaking Topics

CityLab  |  December 7, 2021

The Dark Side of 15-Minute Grocery Delivery

Fast Company  |  June 2021

Why the Great Lakes need to be the center of our climate strategy

Fast Company  |  March 2020

How to design a smart city that’s built on empowerment–not corporate surveillance

URBAN-X  |  December 2019

ZINE 03: BETTER

CityLab  |  December 10, 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility in San Francisco, Boston, and Detroit

Harvard Business Review  |  September 24, 2018

Why Companies Are Creating Their Own Coworking Spaces

CityLab  |  July 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility + U.S. Cities

Medium  |  May 1, 2017

The Engine Room

Fast Company  |  January 19, 2017

The Collaboration Software That’s Rejuvenating The Young Global Leaders Of Davos

The Guardian  |  January 13, 2017

What If Uber Kills Public Transport Instead of Cars

Backchannel  |  January 4, 2017

The Office of the Future Is… an Office

New Cities Foundation  |  October 2016

Now Arriving: A Connected Mobility Roadmap for Public Transport

Inc.  |  October 2016

Why Every Business Should Start in a Co-Working Space

Popular Mechanics  |  May 11, 2016

Can the World’s Worst Traffic Problem Be Solved?

The New Republic  |  January/February 2016

Hacking The City

Fast Company  |  September 22, 2015

We Spent Two Weeks Wearing Employee Trackers: Here’s What We Learned

Fast Company  |  September 21, 2015

HR Meets Data: How Your Boss Will Monitor You To Create The Quantified Workplace

Inc.  |  March 2015

Which Contacts Should You Keep in Touch With? Let This Software Tell You

Inc.  |  March 2015

5 Global Cities of the Future

» See all articles