The Future City

Over the next decade cities will continue to grow larger and more rapidly.  For the first time ever the majority of the world’s population lives in a city – by 2030 it is estimated that 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city, by 2050 7 out of every 10.  Simultaneously new technologies are unlocking huge amounts of data about cities and their residents.  How these technologies are integrated into our growing cities is a big question.  Below are links to current ideas and thoughts from leaders globally:

September 2013 Links:

Weforum.orgWorld Economic Forum: Connected World, Transforming Travel, Transportation and Supply Chains – “How will people travel and how will goods be transported in the year 2025?  Will driverless cars be a main mode of transportation in the megacity of the future, directed by traffic command centres?”

July 2013 Links:

BBCThe Route Masters: Running London’s Roads: The Future: “A million more people than anticipated have settled in London in the last decade. Now Transport for London predicts that there will be a further two million people – the equivalent of two Birminghams – by 2030. With the roads already at capacity, how will they cope and what is the congestion doing to our behaviour

June 2013 Links:

The Mayor’s 2020 Vision – “The Mayor’s 2020 Vision is a signal of serious intent – one designed to lengthen London’s lead as the greatest city on earth. It demonstrates why London must have the freedom to invest in the infrastructure needed to keep the city growing.  It announces to the world that London is a sure bet – the best place to do business.”

April 2013 Links:

Inhabitat – BIG unveils winning plans for massive green-roofed Europa City outside of Paris: “Danish firm BIG has won an international design competition for a new green-roofed city, currently in the works for the suburbs of Paris. Europa City is a massive sustainable project topped off with a huge park that will combine the urban density of Paris with the bucolic setting of the suburbs. Intimate streets, connections to the metro, trains and adjacent highways as well as a connection to farmland will differentiate this master-planned city. It will combine all the convenient amenities of living in a city (like shops, offices, culture and activities) with the healthy qualities of living in the country.”

March 2013 Links:

Review of the Evidence on High Streets – Future High Streets Forum – “High streets are complex & varied…  High streets are experiencing the effects of significant structural change in retailing, accelerated by cyclical macroeconomic conditions”

February 2013 Links:

Sustainable Cities Collective – Smart Growth.  The Environment and Equity:  “This February the EPA released a new report that integrates environmental justice, equitable development, and smart growth.[1]  The goal, as the title signifies, is to foster “Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities.”   The report is a welcome addition to the subject of equitable development as a way to bring low-income communities to the table to determine the direction of planning projects and to ensure concerns of environmental justice and equity are front and center within the increasing thrust of the smart growth movement.”

Business: George Washington University –  DC: The WalkUP Wake-Up Call The Nation’s Capital As a National Model for Walkable Urban Places.  “The next real estate cycle will be defined by the rise of Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs) and the fall of sprawl development. Metropolitan Washington, D.C., leads the nation in this trend. In this report, Christopher Leinberger defines D.C. metro’s WalkUPs, ranks their economic performance and social equity, and discusses findings and implications for developers and society as a whole.”

PikeResearch – Smart City Tracker 1Q13.  Global Smart City Projects by World Region, Market Segment, Technology, and Application.  “The number of cities around the world embracing the smart city concept is growing rapidly. National governments and international agencies are also supporting smart city developments, often with significant investments. Suppliers have been equally active in developing and promoting new offerings to support innovation in city management. This widespread interest in smart city programs is creating a global market opportunity.

Reuters – London Tops World Cities Spending League. “London beat Tokyo, New York and Paris to be the highest grossing city for retail sales in 2010, according to a study of 22 major worldwide shopping destinations by the Centre for Retail Research.

January 2013 Links:

The Guardian – No one likes a city that’s too smart. “Smart cities are being built in the Middle East and in Korea; they have become a model for developers in China, and for redevelopment in Europe. Thanks to the digital revolution, at last life in cities can be brought under control. But is this a good thing?” – 25 Technologies every Smart City should have.

Ted – Our Future in Cities (9 talks) “Humanity’s future is the future of cities. Explore the crowded favelas, greened-up blocks and futuristic districts that could shape the future of cities — and take a profane, hilarious side trip to the suburbs.”

Financial Times – A welcome high-street revolution. “Retail on the high street will be more exciting and entertaining than it is now because it will have to be. Goods will be cheaper, rents will be lower, aesthetics will be beautiful. For those that want the best deals, their data will be shared with their favourite retailer and tailored offers provided. Shops will reward us for our presence. They will know what we looked at online, and how much we are willing to pay. They can close the deal via our mobile phones.”

December 2012 Links:

MIT SENSEable City Lab – “The real-time city is now real! The increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years is allowing a new approach to the study of the built environment. The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed – alongside the tools we use to design them and impact on their physical structure.”

New York Times – Green Roofs in big cities bring relief from above “… So the difference between a black tar roof and a green roof was at minimum 50 degrees. And the green roof was able to retain 75 percent of a one-inch rainfall.  The two tasks go hand in hand — green roofs cool by capturing moisture and evaporating it.”

BMW Guggenheim Lab – 100 Urban Trends.

WikiHouse – Open source construction set.


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