June 11, 2019
Are we at risk of creating a permanent digital underclass? Internet access has become essential for modern American life, but current policies don't treat it that way. In this special bonus episode, Jim and Molly talk to Maya Wiley about a core piece of the infrastructure for our tech future: broadband. Wiley, a digital equity expert and MSNBC contributor, breaks down the history of broadband access, the severity of the inequity, and what it costs us all when some people just can't get online. We also talk about local efforts to improve broadband access, including Wiley's own work in New York City to turn old phone booths into free Wifi kiosks. If you've listened to Technopolis, we want to know what you think. Please click on this very brief survey to help us make the show better. For more on the show, visit CityLab's Technopolis page.
June 4, 2019
Can Wakanda's capital city teach us to build better cities in the real world? For as long as there have been movies, there have been fictional visions of tech-forward futures. But few cities on film have inspired the awe of urbanists like Black Panther's Golden City, devised by production designer Hannah Beachler. In this special bonus episode, Jim and Molly talk with Beachler about the role tech played in her meticulously crafted urban vision. Beachler, who won the Academy Award for her work in the film, helps us understand why the Wakandan city feels so right—and what she thinks some real-life tech-led urban designs are getting wrong.
April 25, 2019
How are cities who once relied on a single industry adapting to the demands of the changing 21st Century economy? On this sponsor content episode, the CityLab marketing team partnered with WeWork to explore how cities are creating dynamic private and public spaces to answer the challenges that come with urbanization and technology. And, how they are doing it equitably.This episode was produced by the CityLab Marketing Team on behalf of WeWork. It was not created by the CityLab editorial staff and does not necessarily reflect their views. To see our Advertising Guidelines, or to learn more, email
April 16, 2019
Is tech making it easier for us to talk to our cities? Changed bus routes. A shuttered park. How many times has your city made a decision affecting you that you didn't know about until after it happened? This persistent communication gap is one of the great conundrums for many city leaders. And it hasn't necessarily gotten any better just because we're on apps and social media. What are cities doing to find us where we are? And is using tech a more effective way to get our feedback about proposed changes? Molly and Jim talk to Eyal Feder-Levy, whose startup ZenCity tracks opinions about city government through our online comments, including public social media posts; and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio, who is on the front lines of this communications struggle.For more information on this episode, visit And email us your feedback to
April 9, 2019
Will food delivery apps kill your favorite neighborhood restaurant? The tech-fueled delivery economy is already having a dramatic impact on how some restaurants do business. Will it also transform our neighborhoods? And should we feel guilty about ordering that coffee and donut directly to our door with a few taps on our phone? Molly and Jim talk with Leslie Silverglide, the CEO of the tech-savvy salad chain Mixt; and Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. For more information on this episode, visit And email us your feedback to 
April 2, 2019
Can tech help cities nudge us to live better lives, without things getting weird? In this episode, we look at how technology is making the popular behavioral science tool known as a "nudge" more prevalent in cities, from tackling sign-ups for food stamps to reducing congestion downtown. Molly and Jim talk with Emily Bailard, the CEO of InClass Today, a startup that uses nudges to help school districts reduce student absenteeism; and Anthony Barrows, managing director of Ideas42, a nonprofit that helps cities use these behavioral science tools to improve social outcomes.For more information on this episode, visit And email us your feedback to
March 26, 2019
When a new tech innovation comes to town, we can't always know what its impacts will be before it floods the market. And yet, increasingly, some city governments and residents are having a particularly strong reaction to certain kinds of tech startups: Shut. It. Down. Is that the right reaction? Why exactly is that our impulse? And does it even matter what kind of tech we're talking about? On this episode, we look at what happens when a new tech idea creeps into one of the most fundamental parts of society: Housing. We examine the case of tech start-up Rentberry, a rental bidding platform, in Seattle. Molly talks with Desiree Fields, an expert on the relationship between digital platforms and housing at the University of Sheffield; and Molly and Jim both chat with Nick Carr, acclaimed author of many books on the unexpected ways tech is messing with our lives. 
March 19, 2019
Will every building in your city one day be powered by a battery? Are batteries the key to our cities' energy future? In this episode, Molly and Jim look at how energy storage could change everything about how we turn on the lights and get around town. And they'll explore how renewable energy might keep our cities running even when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. They talk with John Zahurancik of Fluence Energy and Rushad Nanavatty of Rocky Mountain Institute. They also make an inspiring phone call to Dan Neil, auto columnist for the Wall Street Journal. For more information on this episode, visit And email us your feedback to
March 12, 2019
Should startups ask permission from cities before they drop their tech on city streets? Or are they right to just show up and seek forgiveness later? Molly and Jim wrestle with the legacy of Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb—and the real-time dramas playing out in cities today with dockless scooters and bikes. Jim shares a conversation with Bradley Tusk (an early policy advisor to Uber) and Seleta Reynolds (head of the LA Department of Transportation); and Molly and Jim both talk with Nina Hernandez, a reporter at the Austin Chronicle, about her city's infamous showdown between ride-hailing and regulation. For more information on this episode, visit And email us your feedback to 
March 5, 2019
What does our future really look like when autonomous vehicles take over the roads? Molly and Jim take us on a tour of the less-considered effects: vomit, sex, and criminalized pedestrians. But also: Will self-driving cars carry our groceries before they carry us? They talk with Nan Ransohoff, the head of product at AV startup Nuro, and Jeff Tumlin, a transportation consultant focused on sustainability. For more information on this episode, visit And email us your feedback to
February 26, 2019
Why are investors pouring so much cash into urban startups? On this first episode of Technopolis, hosts Molly Turner and Jim Kapsis follow the money behind the explosion in urban tech. When did investors decide to get so involved in our sidewalks? Jim and Molly speak with Jason Calacanis, early Uber investor, start-up founder, and author of Angel: How to Invest in Start-Ups. They also talk with Warren Logan, Senior Transportation Planner at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, about how cities cope with all the disruption in the epicenter of venture-backed tech. For more information on this episode, visit And email us your feedback to
January 8, 2019
Technology is reshaping our cities—often without permission and sometimes without a clue. Hosted by urban innovation expert Molly Turner and startup advisor Jim Kapsis, the new podcast from CityLab will ask the questions nobody is asking about what needs to change for tech to help solve more problems than it creates.
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