Recently, the Indian cabinet green-lit a £10 billion scheme that will be divided equally between building 100 smart cities, and rejuvenating another 500 cities and towns over the next five years. Yet many experts and planners fear that such “insta-cities”, if they are made, will prove dystopic and inequitable. Some even hint that smart cities may turn into social apartheid cities, governed by powerful corporate entities that could override local laws and governments to “keep out” the poor. — The Guardian
Architecture has entered into a new engagement with digital culture and capital—which amounts to the most radical change within the discipline since the confluence of modernism and industrial production in the early twentieth century. Yet this shift has gone largely unnoticed, because it has not taken the form of a visible upheaval or wholesale transformation. To the contrary: It is a stealthy infiltration of architecture via its constituent elements. — Art Forum
In this brief but sweeping consideration of the place of architecture under today's "digital regime," Koolhaas displays (again) his unique insightfulness.Here are some highlights:"For thousands of years, the elements of architecture were deaf and mute—they could be trusted. Now, many of them are...
To establish a use case it is essential to understand the ‘users’; the human beings who a service is supposed to help. This means really getting to know those people. The service should be built around their needs, not those of the city government or technology provider. — Ross Atkin
The smart city is, to many urban thinkers, just a buzzphrase that has outlived its usefulness: ‘the wrong idea pitched in the wrong way to the wrong people’. So why did that happen – and what’s coming in its place? — theguardian.com
The true enablers of participation turn out to be nothing more exciting than cheap commodity devices, reliable access to sufficiently high- bandwidth connectivity, and generic cloud services. — Guardian
Adam Greenfield argues that instead of committing to futuristic visions of 'smart cities', governments should seek to replicate the efforts of groups like Occupy Sandy or the architectural collective who improved El Campo de Cebada, which relied on unglamorous, mature technologies.
Julia Ingalls reviews, the built work and paper architecture of Jimenez Lai. To wit "regardless of the medium...Understanding the role of storytelling within design is fundamental to all of Lai's work". jla-x commented "The most interesting drawing that he did was a series of plans of a space...
The rhetoric of smart cities would be more persuasive if the environment that the technology companies create was actually a compelling one that offered models for what the city can be. But if you look at Silicon Valley you see that the greatest innovators in the digital field have created a bland suburban environment that is becoming increasingly exclusive — European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda for Europe
Back in September Rem Koolhaas gave a talk at the High Level Group meeting on Smart Cities, Brussels, 24 September 2014. During the talk he asked what really makes a city "smart", and argued that it's critical for smart cities and governments to converge again. h/t @Bruce Sterling
When somebody comes to make your city smart, he never comes by himself...billions in growth doesn't come without standards and industry alliances. I have never seen so many standards and industry alliances as I am seeing in 'Smart Cities' and 'Internet of Things', and foundations too. — YouTube
Old Indian cities like Varanasi, Amritsar, Kolkata and even Delhi, could be in for a facelift over the next few years with the Narendra Modi government planning to develop modern satellite towns around these cities under the 100 Smart City programme, while upgrading the decaying infrastructure of the old towns. [...]
All new cities will have integrated transport — modern bus systems, trams, metro rail and bicycle tracks — aided by satellite mapping, garbage disposal and solid waste management. — articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com
Before becoming India's prime minister and promising to make cities smart, Narendra Modi's campaign was focused on a slightly less lofty goal: "toilets before temples":The BJP leader is quite right to declare that India should spend less money on devotion and more on sanitation. According to...
Most discourse on “smart” and “sentient” cities, if it addresses people at all, focuses on them as sources of data feeding the algorithms. Rarely do we consider the point of engagement — how people interface with, and experience, the city’s operating system. — Places Journal
As we enter the era of so-called “smart” cities, Shannon Mattern argues on Places, we need to consider how citizens interface with the city’s operating system. What does a “right to the city” mean for our future cities? “Can we envision interfaces that honor the multidimensionality and...
The latest edition of Showcase features the Fall House on Big Sur’s south coast, designed by Fougeron Architecture. SeriousQuestion felt it was a "Spectacular project-- there's obviously a lot more glass here, but there are nice nods at Lautner and Sea Ranch. Makes me miss California. I...
When all stages are completed, the 65,000 people daily who pass through the Hudson Yards’ office towers, residences, shops, restaurants, hotel, public school, and public open space will contribute to a massive stream of data intended to help answer the big questions about how cities of the future should be managed. [...]
“It really started from the question: If we could know anything about the city, what would we want to know and how could we do a better job at measuring the pace of life?” — fastcoexist.com
Our technology-first approach has failed the city of the future. So-called “smart cities,” powered by technology, carry the promise of responding to the great pressures of our time, such as urban population growth, climate instability, and fiscal uncertainty. But by focusing on the cutting-edge technologies themselves and relying on private companies to move forward, we have lost sight of what we even want our cities to achieve with all that tech. — wired.com
As part of our quest to find out what makes cities smart, we throw a spotlight on infrastructure: How can information technology and urban planning help to make us more flexible and mobile? At the same time, mobility is just one aspect of a wide spectrum of complex networks that govern life in an urban context. In view of limited resources and changing climate, another factor seems even more pressing: energy consumption and conservation. — betterymagazine.com
The default recourse to data-fication, the presumption that all meaningful flows and activity can be sensed and measured, is taking us toward a future in which the people shaping our cities and their policies rarely have the opportunity to consider the nature of our stickiest urban problems and the kind of questions they raise. — Places Journal
What do corporate smart-city programs have in common with D.I.Y. science projects and civic hackathons? “Theirs is a city with an underlying logic,” writes Shannon Mattern, “made more efficient — or just, or sustainable, or livable — with a tweak to its algorithms or...
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