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In a previous column, I ran through some words and phrases associated with urban computing, where the city is a computer, the streetscape is the interface, you are the cursor, and your smartphone is the input device. This is the user-based, bottom-up version of the city-as-computer idea, but there's also a top-down version, which is systems-based. It looks at urban systems such as transit, garbage, and water and wonders whether the city could be more efficient and better organized if these systems were "smart." That is, if we applied principles of information technology and connectivity to the various processes that make up the urban infrastructure, we would end up with a smart city.