Artificial Intelligence and Urbanization: The Rise of the Elysium City



Abstract. From ancient times, Greek religion introduced Elysium as a heavenly place to which admission was exclusively reserved for mortals related to gods, heroes, and those blessed by gods. We argue that the rise of artificial intelligence technology will lead to the creation of Elysium cities. Elysium cities agents will be technologists, technocrats, intelligent machines, and wealthy capitalists. These cities will be the first embracers of the artificial intelligence technology and will do so by incorporating five capabilities: physical, intellectual, information, governance, and socio-economic. As early adopters, these cities will acquire tremendous political and economic power and will turn into self-governing city-states. During the early stages of the AI revolution, these Elysium cities will shed millions of unemployed via a process we call De-tech Migration. De-tech cities will be the recipients of the labor migration from the Elysium cities and will rapidly become and remain impoverished. This article presents key policy suggestions that can be adopted by companies and governments to avoid potential decline and find new pathways towards growth and prosperity in an artificial intelligence economy.

Keywords. Artificial intelligence, Urbanization, Smart Cities.

JEL. A14.


Artificial intelligence; Urbanization; Smart Cities.

Full Text:


Amin, A. (2004). Regions unbound towards a new politics of place, Geografiska Annaler, 86(B)(1), 33–44.

Amior, M.A. (2014). Essays on Urban Labour and Housing Markets. [Retrieved from].

Aspromourgos, T. (2012). The machine in Adam Smith’s economic and wider thought. Journal of the History of Economic Thought. 34(4), 475-490. doi. 10.1017/S105383721200048X

Autor, D.H. (2015). Why are there still so many jobs? The history and future of workplace automation. The Journal of Economic Perspectives. 29(3), 3-30. doi. 10.1257/jep.29.3.3

Autor, D.H., & Dorn, D. (2013). The growth of low skill service jobs and the polarization of the U.S. labor market. American Economic Review. 103(5), 1553–1597. doi. 10.1257/aer.103.5.1553

Banavar, G. (2012). Overcoming the sustainability challenge. Journal of International Affairs, 65(2), 147-153.

Baron, S., Patterson, A., & Harris, K. (2006). Beyond technology acceptance: Understanding consumer practice. International Journal of Service IndustryManagement, 17(2), 111–135. doi. 10.1108/09564230610656962

Beamish, P.W., & Lupton, N.C. (2009). Managing joint ventures. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(2),75-94. doi. 10.5465/AMP.2009.39985542

Bourgain, J.L. Coisel, Y., Kern, D., Nouette-Gaulain, K., & Panczer, M. (2014). What are the main ‘machine dysfunctions’ to know? Annales Francaises d’Anesthesie et de Reanimation. 33(7–8), 466-471. doi. 10.1016/j.annfar.2014.07.744

Caragliu, A., de Bo, C., & Nijkamp, P. (2009). Smart cities in Europe. 3rd Central European Conference in Regional Science, CERS.

Carlsen, H., Johnsson, L., Wikman-Svahn, P., & Dreborg, K.H. (2014) Co-evolutionary scenarios for creative prototyping of future robot systems for civil protection. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 84, 93–100. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.07.016

Čerka, P., Grigiene, J., Sirbikyte, G. (2015). Liability for damages caused by artificial intelligence. Computer Law and Security Review. 31(3), 376-389. doi. 10.1016/j.clsr.2015.03.008

Chesbrough, H. (2003) Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Davies, C.R. (2011). An evolutionary step in intellectual property rights - Artificial intelligence and intellectual property. Computer Law and Security Review. 27(6), 601–619. doi. 10.1016/j.clsr.2011.09.006

DeCanio, S.J. (2016). Robots and humans - complements or substitutes? Journal of Macroeconomics. 49, 280–291. doi. 10.1016/j.jmacro.2016.08.003

Dirican, C. (2015) The impacts of robotics, artificial intelligence on business and economics. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 195, 564–573. doi. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.06.134

Dyer, J.H., & Singh, H. (1998). The relational view: Cooperative strategy and sources of interorganizationalcompetitive advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(4), 660–679. doi. 10.5465/AMR.1998.1255632

Feldman, M.P., & Audretsch, D.B. (1999). Innovation in cities: Science-based diversity specialization, and localization competition. European Economic Review , 43(2), 409-429. doi. 10.1016/S0014-2921(98)00047-6

Franklin, S., & Graesser, A. (1997). Is it an agent, or just a program?: A taxonomy for autonomous Agents. in Agents Intelligent Agent III. J.P. Müller, M.J. Wooldridge & N.R. Jennings, (Eds.), Berlin: Springer Verlag. doi. 10.1007/BFb0013570

Freeman, C., & Soete, L. (1997). The Economics of Industrial Innovation. London: Pinter.

Frey, C.B., & Osborne, M.A. (2013). The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?, Oxford Martin School, Working Paper.

Fujita, M., Krugman, P., & Mori, T. (1999). On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems. European Economic Review, 43(2), 209-251. doi. 10.1016/S0014-2921(98)00066-X

Gabe, T.M. (2004). Establishment Growth in Small Cities and Towns. International Regional Science Review, 27(2),164-186. doi. 10.1177/0160017603262403

Giffinger, R., Fertner, C., Kramar, H., Kalasek, R., Pichler-Milanovic, N., & Meijers, E. (2007). Smart cities ranking of European medium-sized cities. Centre of Regional Science, Vienna. [Retrieved from].

Goertzel, B. (2014). Characterizing human-like Consciousness : An integrative approach. Unpublished Paper, 1–25. [Retrieved from].

Goertzel, B. (2007). Human-level artificial general intelligence and the possibility of a technological singularity. A reaction to Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near, and McDermott’s critique of Kurzweil. Artificial Intelligence. 171(18), 1161–1173. doi. 10.1016/j.artint.2007.10.011

Goos, M., Manning, A., & Salomons, A. (2009) Job polarization in Europe. American Economic Review, 99(2), 59-63. doi. 10.1257/aer.99.2.58

Goos, M., & Manning, A. (2007) Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain. The Review of Economics and Statistics. 89(1), 118-133. doi. 10.1162/rest.89.1.118

Granovetter, M.S. (1995). Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers, 2nd Ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hanson, R. (2008). Economics of The Singularity. (IEEE Spectrum). [Retrieved from].

Hellström, T. (2013) On the moral responsibility of military robots. Ethics and Information Technology, 15(2), 99–107. doi. 10.1007/s10676-012-9301-2

Henderson, J., Vernon, A.K., & Turner, M.(1995). Industrial Development in Cities. Journal of Political Economy, 103(5), 1067-1090. doi. 10.1086/262013

Hengstler, M., Enkel, E., & Duelli, S. (2016) Applied artificial intelligence and trust-The case of autonomous vehicles and medical assistance devices. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 105(C), 105–120. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2015.12.014

Heylighen, F. (2007). The Global Superorganism : an evolutionary-cybernetic model of the emerging network society. Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems. 6(1), 1-37.

Heylighen, F., & Lenartowicz, M. (2016). The global brain as a model of the future information society: An introduction to the special issue. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114. 1-6. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.10.063

Hollands, R.G. (2008). Will the real smart city please stand up. City, 12(3), 303-320. doi. 10.1080/13604810802479126

Hyra, D. (2014). The back-to-the-city movement: Neighbourhood redevelopment and processes of political and cultural displacement. Urban Studies. 52(10), 1753-1773. doi. 10.1177/0042098014539403

Jauhari, V., & Benard, M. (2010). University Industry Collaboration: An Open Innovation Approach at Hewlett-Packard, Journal of Technology Management for Growing Economies, 1(1), 23-33. doi. 10.15415/jtmge.2010.11002

Kim, S., & Margo, R. (2004) Historical perspectives on U.S. economic geography. In, J.V. Henderson J.F. Thisse, Handbook of Urban and Regional Economics, Vol. 4, North-Holland, Amsterdam.

Kleis, L., Chwelos, P., Ramirez, R., & Cockburn, I. (2012). Information Technology and Intangible Output: The Impact ofIT Investments on Innovation Productivity, Information Systems Research 23(1), 39-42. doi. 10.2307/23207871

Kley, S.A. (2013). Migration in the face of unemployment and unemployment risk: A case study of temporal and regional effects. Comparative Population Studies. 38(1), 109-136.

Knox, P. (1991). The restless urban landscape economic and socio-cultural change and the transformation of metropolitan Washington, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 81(2), 181-209. doi. 10.1111/j.1467-8306.1991.tb01686.x

Komninos, N.(2008). Intelligent Cities and Globalisation of Innovation Networks. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kurzweil, R. (2005). The Singularity is Near. London, Duckworth.

Lang, R., & Dhavale, D. (2005). America’s megapolitan areas. Land Lines, 17(3), 1–4.

Lauterbach, B.A. & Bonim, A. (2016). Artificial Intelligence : A Strategic Business And Governance Imperative. 54–57. [Retrieved from].

Lichtenthaler, U., & Lichtenthaler, E. (2009). A capability based framework for open innovation: Complementingabsorptive capacity. Journal of Management Studies, 46(8), 1315-1338. doi. 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00854.x

Lombardi, P., Giordano, S., Caragliu, A., Del Bo, C., Deakin, M., Nijkamp, P., Kourtit, K., & Farouh, H. ( 2012). An advanced triple-helix network model for smart cities performance. In Y. Ozge, (Ed). Green and Ecological Technologies for Urban Planning: Creating Smart Cities. (pp.59-73), Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Marshall, A. (1997). Principles of Eeconomics. Prometheus Books, Buffalo.

McAfee, A., & Brynjolfsson, E. (2016). Human work in the robotic future. Foreign Affairs. 95(4), 139-150. [Retrieved from].

Menon, N.M., Lee, B., & Eldenburg, L. (2000). Productivity and efficiency of information systems in the healthcare industry, Information Systems Research, (11)1, 83-92.

Mokyr, J. Vickers, C., & Zeibarth, N.L. (2015) The history of technological anxiety and the future of economic growth: Is this time different? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(3), 31-50. doi. 10.1257/jep.29.3.31

Moniz, A. & Krings, B.-J. (2016) Robots working with humans or humans working with robots? Searching for social dimensions in new human-robot interaction in industry. Societies, 6(3), 23. doi. 10.3390/soc6030023

Nilsson, N.J. (1984). Artificial intelligence, employment and income. AI Magazine, 5(2), 5-14.

Phillips, A. (2014). African Urbanization. World in Review. Harvard International Review, 35(3), 29-31.

Portugali, J., & Stolk, E. (2016). Complexity, Cognition, Urban Planning and Design: Post-Proceedings of the 2nd Delft International Conference. Portugali, J: Springer. doi. 10.1007/978-3-319-32653-5

Potts, D. (1995). Shall we go home? Increasing urban poverty in African cities and migration processes. Geographical Journal, 161(3), 1-12. doi. 10.2307/3059830

Pryke, S. (2012). Economic Nationalism: Theory, History and Prospects. Global Policy Journal, 3(3), 281-291.

Purdy, M., & Daugherty, P. (2016). Why Artificial Intelligence is the future of growth? Remarks at AI Now: The Social and Economic Implications of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Near Term. 1-72. [Retrieved from].

Rieniets, T. (2009). Shrinking cities: Causes and effects of urban population losses in the twentieth century. Nature and Culture, 4(3), 231-254. doi. 10.3167/nc.2009.040302

Rosenblum, F. (2016). Power and politics: A threat to the Global Brain. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 114, 43-47. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.06.035

Samers, M. (1998) Immigration, ‘ethnic minorities’, and ‘social exclusion’ in the European Union: a critical perspective. Geoforum, 29(2), 123–144. doi. 10.1016/S0016-7185(98)00003-7

Scherer, M.U. (2016) Regulating artifical intelligence system: Risks, challenges, conpetencies, and strategies, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, 29(2), 354-398.

Sedgley, N., & Elmslie, B. (2004) The geographic concentration of knowledge: Scale, agglomeration, and congestion in innovation across U.S. States. International Regional Science Review, 27(2), 111-137. doi. 10.1177/0160017603262401

Simon, C.J. & Nardinelli, C.(2002). Human capital and the rise of American cities, 1900-1990. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 32(1), 59-96. doi. 10.1016/S0166-0462(00)00069-7

Sohn, J. (2004). Do birds of a feather flock together? Economic linkage and geographic proximity. Annals of Regional Science, 38(1), 47-73. doi. 10.1007/s00168-003-0145-x

Sohn J., Kim T.J., & Hewings, G.J.D. (2003) Information technology and urban spatial structure: a comparativeanalysis of the Chicago and Seoul regions. Annals of Regional Science, 37, 447-462. doi. 10.1007/s00168-003-0164-7

Storper, M., & Venables, A.J. (2004). Buzz: Face-to-face contact and the urban economy. Journal of Economic Geography, 4(4), 351-371. doi. 10.1093/jnlecg/lbh027

Sturtevant, L. (2014). The new district of columbia: What population growth and demographic change mean for the city. Journal of Urban Affairs, 36(2), 276-299. doi. 10.1111/juaf.12035

Tallon, P., & Kraemer, K. (2006). The development and application of a process-oriented ‘thermometer’ of IT business value, Communications of the AIS, 17(45), 995-1027.

Tononi, G. (2008). Consciousness as integrated information: A provisional manifesto. Biological Bulletin, 215(3), 216-242. doi. 10.2307/25470707

Underwood, S. (2016). Blockchain beyond bitcoin. Communications of the ACM, 59(11), 15-17.

White House, (2016a). Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy. [Retrieved from].

White House, (2016b). Preparing for the future of Artificial Intelligence. [Retrieved from].

Wilson, D.C.S. (2014). Arnold Toynbee and the industrial revolution: The science of history, political economy and the machine past. History & Memory, 26(2), 133-161. [Retrieved from]..

Wiltshire, T.J. (2015). A prospective framework for the design of ideal artificial moral agents: Insights from the science of heroism in humans. Minds and Machines. 25(1), 57-71. doi. 10.1007/s11023-015-9361-2

Wimberley, L.M. & Fulkerson, G. (2007). Mayday 23: World population becomes more urban than rural. Rural Sociologist. 27(1), 42-43.

Wood, P. (2006). Urban development and knowledge-intensive business services: too many unanswered questions? Growth and Change, 37(3), 335-361. doi. 10.1111/j.1468-2257.2006.00327.x



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Journal of Economics and Political Economy - J. Econ. Pol. Econ. - JEPE -

ISSN: 2148-8347. Editor :   Secretarial:   Istanbul - Turkey.

Copyright © KSP Journals