Cities are meant to bring people together. To provide spaces to gather, exchange ideas and innovate.
From neighbourhood innovation hubs and hacker spaces, to high-speed networks and AI-powered community services, today’s cities are becoming self-organized organisms, shaping the future of every aspect of our lives. And the decisions we make today impact how our cities will live in the future. How will we bring people together? How will we create inspiring spaces to foster positive change? What changes can we implement today to shape tomorrow’s smart cities?
Concrete jungles vs hybrid spaces
Today’s cities are concrete wonders, made of towers and static infrastructure. We’ve paved the earth to delineate sidewalks and streets, and build places for people to live and work. The solid nature of our cities makes it pretty difficult to reshape our urban spaces to move flexibly into the future. What if we started looking at our cities from a hybrid perspective? One that better weaves together the concrete form we need to support urban communities with nature – a system that’s innately adaptive?
Imagine if we needed less streets, reducing the number of cars on the road and incorporated aerial ridesharing?
What if the way we moved people was equally dispersed between how we move them on the ground and in the sky?
Imagine what we could make room for: open and accessible green spaces, public gathering areas, playgrounds, and walking and bike trails. Spaces, services and amenities to bring people together.
As we continue to explore what it means to create tomorrow’s smart cities, we need to start thinking outside of what we currently know. We need to explore and dream up new systems.
Creating smart cities isn’t only about collecting data and incorporating technology to connect people and spaces. Imagine that our future smart cities were defined as evolving cities, made of self-sustaining spaces and communities that foster the greater good. That are inclusive. Resilient. Green. Environmentally-sound spaces. Spaces and communities that use technology to bridge the gaps. Hybrid blends of the built form and nature – a combination that finds a happy medium between super dense, concrete cities and hyper-sprawled suburban areas.
But first, we need to dream a little.