Greg Lindsay's Blog

July 15, 2023  |  permalink

The Metaverse Metropolis Symposium

On July 11, my fellowship at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Urban Tech Hub concluded with The Metaverse Metropolis Symposium — a combination of panels and workshops imagining future threats and possibilities of augmented reality at scale.

Hosted by the Microsoft Garage’s Mike Pell, the morning was comprised of three sessions, videos of which are below. Watch this space for a capstone report this fall.

1. What is the Metaverse Metropolis? Greg Lindsay and Arizona State University Threatcasting Lab director Brian David Johnson host a brief fireside chat outlining the aims of The Metaverse Metropolis initiative and introducing the social, cultural, legal, and economic challenges and opportunities urban AR poses for cities.


2. Preparing for Disruption. Thousands of Pokémon Go players stampeded through parks, trespassed en masse, and may have injured nearly 30,000 people due to distracted driving in the game’s first five months alone in 2016. Prior to that, the rise of platforms such as Uber and AirBnB posed challenges to how public officials see and manage their cities. What have cities learned after a decade of disruption? How will urban AR pose new wrinkles to prior laws and customs? And how should the public generally prepare for technologies that have not fully arrived?

• Seleta Reynolds | Chief Innovation Officer, Los Angeles Metro
• Nigel Jacob | Chief Innovation Officer, Boston Society for Architecture
• Matt Miesnieks | CEO, Living Cities
• Jonathan Askin | Director, Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic


3. The Augmented City. What is urban AR for? How are cities, artists, and activists already exploring the medium’s potential for discovery and connection. How should cities fold AR into the practice of “digital placemaking?” How will it offer inhabitants new ways of seeing their city? And what skills, roles, resources, and partners will civic institutions need to harness its full potential?

• Idris Brewster | Executive Director, Kinfolk Foundation
• Diana Lind | author, Brave New Home
• Alina Nazmeeva | Alfred A. Taubman Fellow, University of Michigan

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Greg Lindsay is a generalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a non-resident senior fellow of the Arizona State University Threatcasting Lab, a non-resident senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, and a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative. He was the founding chief communications officer of Climate Alpha and remains a senior advisor. Previously, he was an urban tech fellow at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, where he explored the implications of AI and augmented reality at urban scale.

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