Theme

Smart Cities & Platform Architecture

This is a nice subtitle about smart cities.

Questions

  • who are smart cities for?
  • what are the problems smart cities are trying to solve for?
  • big data for public use vs governance an managerial efficiency of infrastructures and services
  • smart-from-the-start vs retrofitted cities
  • government mandated vs corporate models
  • what is the relationship between the built environment, technological and urban infrastructures and citizen engagement?
  • Big data makes smart cities predictive
  • cities are already smart, they adapt and respond using information but data from iot sensor and ict networks improves the ability to find and understand dynamics and patterns as well as propose specific solutions
  • smart is adjective for a city’s logistical abilities

“smart cities can be understood through histories of urban imaginations that prioritize maintaining order and efficiency and fostering economic growth and competitiveness in global and regional markets through technological and scientific developments.  ... cities are pressured to do more with less.”

programmed and programmable, constantly collecting, analyzing, and responding to real-time information

respond to, adapt, and predict

Anthony Townsend “smart cities are places where information technology is wielded to address problems”

Cities are fun

Cities in the past have been evolutionary though, no city was built in a day and the demands have not only been by the opportunists but the other way around as well. An example of this lies in the development of infrastructure in Istanbul as the result of the geche kondu rules of the Middle Ages.

How do I Eat More Good Stuff

People building on open land gained them ownership of property and created opportunity for those willing to provide infrastructure to those new to the urban fabric. As the city grew with informal settlements developing into more concrete developments, utilities were called for. Supply following demand. As areas of the city had infrastructure develop faster than other areas, those areas tended to grow faster. This play is evident in new cities as much as in old ones. Transitioning and evolving existing infrastructure to serve new technological advancements. As technological advancements are better understood and projected in modern times, we are starting to see infrastructure predate development and failing endure. This is where we run into problems designing from scratch. We are solving problems that are unrelated to the context and culture of the sites we are designing for.

The most successful attempts at building smart cities rely on the combination of a cohesive vision matched with the right tools, systems and services to be integrated and laid down as a solid and cohesive infrastructure. Cities in the past have been evolutionary though, no city was built in a day and the demands have not only been satisfied by the opportunists but the other way around as well.

An example of this lies in the development of infrastructure in Istanbul as the result of the geche kondu rules of the Middle Ages. People building on open land gained them ownership of property and created opportunity for those willing to provide infrastructure to those new to the urban fabric. As the city grew with informal settlements developing into more concrete developments, utilities were called for. Supply following demand. As areas of the city had infrastructure develop faster than other areas, those areas tended to grow faster. This play is evident in new cities as much as in old ones. Transitioning and evolving existing infrastructure to serve new technological advancements. As technological advancements are better understood and projected in modern times, we are starting to see infrastructure predate development and failing endure. This is where we run into problems designing from scratch. We are solving problems that are unrelated to the context and culture of the sites we are designing for.

Cities are best being served when the bottom up approach is taken, and for smart cities, that comes in the form of resource liberation.

Cities are using technology to optimize and reduce cost of services they provide, from utilities mitigating last mile losses to transportation networks serving more people efficiently with existing resources, the devices and sensors are coming in regardless of the master plans. This data becomes the key though, the path for letting the city solve its own problems as they come up. By making that data open, people and groups are free to make use of it. We see this in simple forms like Boston’s adopt-a-hydrant program where people are taking on a small civic duty to keep their city safe to companies like uber making safe, cheap, efficient public transportation available to city occupants at minimal cost to the city itself. Sidewalk labs is walking a fine line between the two approaches right now with its progress in Toronto. From the intent to open up new channels of data for the exploration and use as part of a truly connected district of an evolving technological hub, it’s still being pushed forward as an ideal for the waterfront district. Pushback from residents and watchdogs has been substantial when news broke that Sidewalk Labs was the innovation partner in the development and the backing of technology giant Google. This is the first true large scale example of the challenges of techbology’s fast paced attitude is applied to the slow development process of the built environment. The city faces tough questions particularly related to data and privacy. How is it collected, where will it be stored, and who will have access and opportunities to use it. All valid concerns that are overshadowing the traditional set of deliverables developers use to push projects through a permitting and urban review process that is being called into question.

 


Photo Credit and Caption: Smart Cities & Platform Architecture

Cite this page:

Wittmeyer, S. (2020, 31 May). Smart Cities & Platform Architecture. Retrieved from https://seanwittmeyer.com/theme/smartcities

Smart Cities & Platform Architecture was updated May 31st, 2020.

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