Picture of Guangzhou's Canton Tower
In China, rotating pods atop Guangzhou's Canton Tower overlook one of the world's most populous cities.
Except from "The 2014 Traveler 50: World's Smartest Cities"

Essential places, people, trends, and ideas that have turned the world’s most intelligent cities into travelers’ hottest tickets.

From the October 2014 issue of Traveler magazine

We all know our world is increasingly urbanized, but what makes a city smart? A sense of place, for starters, says Ian MacFarlane, consultant for National Geographic Channel’s Smart Cities program. “A city needs a heart and soul—typically the center, where people congregate for work and leisure. Smart cities are well-connected locally and internationally, have a sustainable lifestyle, and are places where people come first,” he says. Here’s our essential list of things we love in the world’s most exciting cities.

20 Droning On

A Detroit company is designing lightweight autonomous aircraft capable of carrying 12 pounds of goods—capacity enough for a Chicago pizza party or a Brooklyn bagel breakfast.

26 Detroit, 
Michigan: population 689,000: A start-up culture powers Motown’s struggle to rise from the ashes of economic disaster. Artists fill any open spaces with color. The creative class gathers in Corktown, and the tech set dines near downtown’s M@dison office building.

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