The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 200

Working Paper Image 200

5 June 2015

Creative Destruction, Long Waves and the Age of the Smart City

One of Peter Hall’s main themes governing his research was the impact of technology on cities and regions. Although his early work was largely about the form and function of cities, particularly world cities, and how the planning system in Britain and America was changing the shape of cities, his first visits to the Far East energised his interest in the way cities were crucibles of creativity and innovation. From this, his interest in how long waves of technological innovation since the onset of the industrial revolution have impacted on cities led to an exploration of the geography of Kondratieff cycles and with this, the way in which new technologies destroy the old in the manner first articulated by Joseph Schumpeter.

In this essay, I review these ideas and Peter’s contribution to them but I also speculate that the Sixth Kondratieff wave which has just begun will be a culmination of the previous ones in that new information technologies will lead to massively decentralised devices implanted in ourselves and in our cities. In terms of our interest here, the Sixth Kondratieff will be the Age of the Smart City, something that Peter Hall was directing us towards.

Author: Professor Michael Batty

Publication Date: 5 June 2015

Download working paper 200 (file size 520KB, PDF format)