Peak Millennial?

Peak Millennial?

The appeal of cities among millennials is well-documented, and even celebrated. But is change in the air? As CityLab writesdemographics and aging could mean that millennial population growth in cities tapers off. This shift need not lead to collapse however. By recognizing that the urban boom may not last forever, making cities more family friendly, building a broader range of housing, and continuing to do what works, cities can evolve accordingly.

The Ups & Downs of Drones

The Ups & Downs of Drones

Drones are expected have big impacts on a range of  industries, but also represent new security risks. In response, London Police are training eagles to handle this high-tech security headache, another example of the reapplication of ancient technology, while  Michigan Tech created a robotic drone catcher. Conversely, the FDA  recently loosened restrictions on “micro” drones, as Amazon moves full speed ahead with its own project. What creative ideas and/or concerns about the spreading drones do you have?

Can We Afford the Exclusion of the Sanitized City?

Can We Afford the Exclusion of the Sanitized City?

A new golden age of cities has ushered in an era of intensification and redevelopment in urban centres. As a result, many cities are enjoying re-found affluence, but are also faced with growing affordability issues, something underlined in a recent Metropolis Magazine article. In many ways, the high societal cost of exclusion mirrors the burden that sprawl placed on public finances. As this cost becomes clear, triple-win projects that benefit residents, the city-region, and private actors are well-positioned for success.

A Networked Future

A Networked Future

Digital technology is becoming ever-more pervasive and the world is increasingly urban. The simultaneous rise of these trends find us at a unique intersection in space and time. In a reflective interview with Smart Circle that ranges from urban mobility and citizen participation to cyber terrorism and the future of sharing, Carlo Ratti, director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab aims to make sense of these changes. It’s a worthwhile read, particularly for those seeking to connect the “smart” city with it’s citizens.

The City as an R&D Lab

The City as an R&D Lab

The evolution of cities as labs is clear in a Fast Company interview with Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, a Google startup company. They discuss the opportunity technology presents to solve big urban challenges, the need for scalable solutions and a fourth technology revolution in modern cities. Perhaps most interestingly, Doctoroff emphasizes the need for new technologies to benefit the triple-helix of urban stakeholders: the City, the public and the private sector. A shift towards a kinder, gentler smart city?

Gaming & the City

Gaming & the City

It’s been more than two decades since Sim City was first released. During the interim, city-making games have become more popular and nuanced, reflecting a growing public interest in urbanism. More than just fun, these games can teach planners valuable lessons about how we plan and how we envision the idealized city. Games can also be used as valuable engagement tools and to re-imagine the places we call home. Could the games of today lead to the self-building cities of tomorrow?

The Cities of Tomorrow: Urban Areas without Character?

The Cities of Tomorrow: Urban Areas without Character?

Many cities take great energy and pride in the factors that make them unique. In an era of rapid urbanization, particularly in developing regions like sub-Saharan Africa, India and China, is city-making losing touch with context? The Guardian Cities tackles this in an illuminating article on new cities and the challenges of accommodating population growth. With developers, architects and designers regularly jumping from projects on one continent to another, and with local decision-makers seeking to showcase smartness or modernity of their city, is this turn inevitable? Or is their a more suitable approach?

Mobility Planning that Builds Better Cities

Mobility Planning that Builds Better Cities

What does the future of transportation in (North) American cities look like? Ecolocalizer tackled this huge question in a recent post. Notably, they foresee fewer private cars on the road, identifying four key factors influencing mobility of the future: technology, a planning evolution, driverless cars, and policy. While they underline that the impacts are difficult to predict (especially for driverless cars), new technologies, good planning and well-crafted policy appear set to contribute to a future of increasingly people-friendly cities.

Sustainable Mobility: Time for Disruption

Sustainable Mobility: Time for Disruption

Resulting in a global agreement, COP21 was an important step towards limiting the impacts of climate change. However, as The Dirt writes, it was only a starting point. Transportation accounts for the second largest share of energy-related emissions and presents a major opportunity for improvement. Disruption to car-oriented planning, particularly in secondary cities, would have a major impact on CO2 emissions and can also be a major employment driver, as demonstrated in Copenhagen and Brazilian cities. Urban mobility – a catalyst for greener, more successful cities.

What Would You do with a Magic Wand?

What Would You do with a Magic Wand?

With the Internet of Things, controlling objects daily is becoming real. Valentin Heun at MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Lab introduced an app, Reality Editor, aiming to empower users to have more control over their smart tools. When you connect dots on your finger tip featuring the app, smart objects in a room start communicating each other. Combination of individual’s creativity and Reality Editor could bring interesting results to human interactions and physical environment outside of a room.