This is an extract from a positioning paper I recently co-authored for Space Syntax around the future of the city. This post is an extract of the longer-term risks and opportunities.
The paper set out short- and long-term issues facing society, and suggested opportunities for technology to help address them.
Existing and emerging technologies provide potential solutions, but these need to be developed carefully to deliver a vision that everyone supports. Without going through this process and agreeing a social contract to operate them within, the risks have been widely publicised: a surveillance state, loss of privacy, loss of control and lives being ruled by multi-national tech giants.
This post sketches out a positive future supported by technology, where, in an older, post-work society, the city as an organisation plays a different role. In this future, tech provides a platform to stimulate local economic activity, provide access to services, develop new models of housing, protect privacy, and by integrating all of these, to attempt to address inequality.
These are the notes from the session I was part of at Friday’s Digital Transport Exchange.
How can we best collaborate to improve personal mobility?
There are two issues behind this question:
Firstly, that personal mobility isn’t as good as it should be. This is one of the big issues that’s raised a lot at the moment all around the world. Especially how the combined costs of mobility and housing is pushing people further out of cities and/or detrimentally affecting their daily lives.
This is not just an issue about how to provide mobility services, but it’s a wider issue around a planning and design.
Secondly, collaboration is not as good as it should be. This includes sophisticated disciplines working in parallel, differences between public and private sectors, short- and long-term decision makers, and divisions within large organisations. The result of this is that the outcomes of design, planning and service strategies optimise individual systems rather than creating combined outcomes that benefit the wider city.
By using urban analytics that are strategic in nature, precisely link people to space, and focus on outcomes not systems, we can start to address these issues.
Notes from a Smart Cities panel I was part of at CREATech 2017
What is a Smart City?
Theres a one line answer which is probably very obvious: smart cities use data and technology to make cities better. The important part though is that they make cities better for people – that is happier, healthier and wealthier.