What started as a failed high school workshop has become a major opportunity for data collection in Chicago. The city is preparing for the launch of its transparent Array of Things initiative, where 200 nodes containing multiple sensors to monitor an array of factors – from weather and air quality to mobility – deployed over the next year. The publicly available data will be invaluable for researchers, and is even expected to boost interest of these issues among the public. With so much new material available, what would you do with this data?
In the digital age, are there better ways for colleges and universities to provide high-quality learning experiences? A restructured college business model that delivers education in a range of ways could enable colleges to lower costs while increasing equality in higher education. An underused college building could become a new public library offering credentialed on-line university courses, among other flexible uses. What other benefits would cities get from a redesigned college system?
Failed Architecture posed this provocative question as guest editors for 2ha magazine’s A State of A Nation issue. As FA’s editors admit, “this a problematic investigation since suburbia is too big to fail…and impossible to define”, but it does provide insight into the qualities and weaknesses that make suburbia both appealing and despised. Reflecting on this dominant development 20th century can help us understand where our cities have been, and where they are going.
Much has been made of the smart city’s potential to improve technical coordination and efficiency, but where do people fit into this brave new world? Public space thought leaders Gehl Architects think Montreal is on the right track. In an optimistic article, they detail the City’s digital/physical Faire Montreal (Make Montreal) initiative to engage residents on 180 tangible projects. A model for other cities to follow?
Public private partnerships (PPPs) have become an important tool for realizing large-scale infrastructure and development projects in many countries. Among them, Canada has been identified as a key innovator. As ReNew Canada highlights, not all PPPs are equal however; and a multitude of approaches are evident across the country. Could some of these PPP arrangements facilitate building the cities of tomorrow? Read on to find out.
Affordable housing development is unlikely to be the first role of school districts that comes to mind. However, school boards across the US are making the most of their vacant land and doing just that. Building on housing needs of their own employees, school districts in LA, Detroit and Oakland are partnering with affordable housing developers and scaling-up their projects to the meet the demands of their staff and the communities around them.
Big news out of Oslo, Norway today. The capital city of a nation that produces nearly two billion barrels of oil a day announced that not only would its city centre be car free by 2019, it would also divest from fossil fuels by 2020. They also plan to halve emissions by 2020 and become fossil fuel free by 2030. In the run up to COP21, this is another indication that cities are leading the way on energy policy.
Central to the internet of things, the rise of the smart city has been paralleled by the smart home‘s development. They present major opportunities to enhance numerous systems, but come with their share of criticism too. Is the smart city secure? And a recent New York Times op-ed criticizes the integration, usability, sustainability and security. With this in mind, will the internet of things lead to improvements in our lives? Or will it simply lead to more stuff?
Joining a number of large corporations and furthering its own recent efforts, Google is making major preparations for the zero-waste, circular economy. Partnering with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the firm intends to embed principles of the circular economy into all aspects of its operations. Beyond being a good corporate citizen, the approach can pay financial dividends, saving Google money and creating new market opportunities for circular economy solutions.
It’s clear that the arrival of the self-driving car is only a matter time. It’s a lot less clear what kind impact it will have on the city. Urban Land Magazine‘s Patrick J. Kiger tackled this question in a recent article, where he interviewed a number of city making experts about the implications on walkability, parking, architecture and more. Generally optimistic, the article challenges us to reimagine mobility and ownership while underlining the need to plan for the soon-to-arrive self-driving car.