Stories by Kim Hart

Speed bumps on the way to smart cities

Illustration of a pothole with a circuit board peeking through.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NEW YORK — The journey to smart cities is off to a slower start than predicted, with many projects stuck in pilot phases and cities unable to find the skilled workers to keep them going.

Why it matters: The vision of smart cities is to use data, sensors and software applications to allow cities to be more responsive to residents' needs (like detecting when trash cans are full) and more environmentally sustainable (like detecting water leaks in underground pipes).

In Seattle, a focused approach to housing

Illustration of a house being observed by a hand with a magnifying glass and another with a tape measure
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As tech giants throw billions at Silicon Valley's housing crisis, Seattle leaders and businesses are taking a targeted approach to creating more affordable housing.

Driving the news: Senior Director of Microsoft Philanthropies Jane Broom told Axios in an interview this week that "the probability is high" that the software giant will invest more in housing in its backyard, following an initial $500 million pledge announced in January.

Uber CEO: More cars "not the answer"

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images

In an interview last week with "Axios on HBO," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said its business has to "radically shift how it grows" to avoid wearing out its welcome in cities.

Why it matters: That means investing in fleet electrification and convincing people to take alternative modes of transportation like Uber buses, electric bikes and scooters are key goals for the company — which doesn't have a history of playing nice with cities.