Arrival Cities
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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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Cities Are the Future of Human Evolution

Cities Are the Future of Human Evolution | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Humans began to live in urban settlements about 7 thousand years ago. As humans continued to evolve over the millennia, so too did our cities.

 

 

Now that the majority of humans live in cities, we're going to be confronting a new set of problems in urban life. For one thing, natural disasters in cities can cause much greater numbers of fatalities than in sparse, rural communities. So the cities of tomorrow will need to be robust against many kinds of disaster, from earthquakes and floods, to radiation bombardment. It's possible that many cities will built partly under ground, and partly under water. They might even be built inside a single building surrounded by farms. Not only will such structures allow us to conserve space, but layers of earth and water are excellent protection against radiation.

 

Many future-minded designers and architects believe that cities of the future will survive these kinds of disasters partly by changing the materials we use to build. Instead of dead trees, we'll use living ones, combined with genetically modified algae and other plants that could purify water and air, as well as provide energy. In a recent book,Rachel Armstrong has described what she calls "living architecture," where cities are built with semi-living materials that can repair their own cracks and heal themselves when damaged by a quake or just regular wear and tear. She proposes rescuing Venice from drowning by engineering a living reef underneath the city. It would be made with calcium-extruding protocells that latch onto the city's existing piles, strengthening them and attracting living creatures whose shells will eventually turn into a true ocean reef.

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A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen

A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Alex Steffen calls himself a planetary futurist. That means he has confronted some grim realities in the nearly 10 years since he founded Worldchanging.com, an online publication that pioneered coverage of climate change and related issues in the early years of the 21st century.


His most recent book, which came out November 26, is called Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet. In it, he lays out his case that "remaking the world’s wealthiest cities over the next 20 years may prove the best—perhaps the only—chance we have of avoiding planetary catastrophe." (...)


Steffen:


To a really large degree the consumption choices that we can make are dictated by the systems around us. Whether or not we can walk or bike or take transit to work or to school. Whether or not we can reasonably live without owning every thing we might ever want to use. Whether or not we have access to food that is grown in ways that are more sustainable. The list goes on and on of things that are bounded by the urban systems in which we live. (...)


Ruggedization is simply making stuff that is harder to break. Many of the systems we depend on, including stuff our lives depend on, are extremely brittle. They’ve been optimized for a very narrow set of circumstances, which means that the minute something happens that’s outside those normal expectations, they break, they collapse. This is not a good thing. There are certain systems you want to make sure work no matter what. You want your water supply to be safe no matter what. You want medical care to be available no matter what. So the first step is just making sure the things you cannot afford to have fail, you future-proof.


by Sarah Goodyear

21 Nov 2012

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How The "Internet Of Things" Is Turning Cities Into Living Organisms | Fast Company

How The "Internet Of Things" Is Turning Cities Into Living Organisms | Fast Company | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

With a little help from what's called the Internet of Things, engineers are transforming cities from passive conduits for water into dynamic systems that store and manage it like the tissues of desert animals.


With a little help from what's called the Internet of Things, engineers are transforming cities from passive conduits for water into dynamic systems that store and manage it like the tissues of desert animals. By using the Internet to connect real-world sensors and control mechanisms to cloud-based control systems that can pull in streams from any other data source, including weather reports, these efforts enable conservation and money-saving measures that would have been impossible without this virtual nervous system.


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The City of The Future: It's Changing -- But Into What?

The City of The Future: It's Changing -- But Into What? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Leading futurist Glen Hiemstra on what's driving change in 21st century cities...


Txchnologist: Which cities around the world are the most forward-looking and why? What do they need to consider as they prepare for the future?


Glen Hiemstra: One American city that might sound counterintuitive when we’re talking about cities looking to the future is Los Angeles. I think L.A. is waking up to the reality that it’s over-autocentric. It’s got a long road to go down, but the whole LA Metro project is pretty impressive. Another community that is attempting to look ahead is metro Atlanta, which is thought of as the picture of out-of-control sprawl but is now trying to shape their community for the future with a program called Atlanta Fifty Forward.


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10 Trends That Are Changing Cities Forever

10 Trends That Are Changing Cities Forever | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
When it comes to technology and strategy, government is often behind the times, and far behind the most innovative businesses. It's slow-moving, risk-averse, and subject to many electoral and legal constraints.

Cities, on the other hand, move much faster. That was the subject of a recent panel hosted by SAP and the Brookings Institute, what Sean O'Brien, the Global Vice President Of Urban Matters and Public Security at SAP called the "secret sauce" of the best-run cities.
ddrrnt's insight:

10 trends discussed:

  1. Engaging people through their smartphones
  2. Facebook games and interactive community meetings
  3. Saving taxpayer money by consulting for other cities   
  4. Getting the best out of city employees
  5. Less bureaucracy and more leadership
  6. Crowdsourcing ideas and apps from citizens
  7. Using a city's unique attributes to compete globally 
  8. They're driven to innovate by the debt crisis
  9. Becoming more transparent
  10. Moving away from paper and towards big data
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Meet The Hyper-Connected Phone Booth Of the Future

Meet The Hyper-Connected Phone Booth Of the Future | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In cities all over the world, old phone booths are sitting around, not doing much of anything. What are the possibilities for adaptive reuse for such outdated infrastructure? In Japan, we’ve seen the Kingyobu collective’s answer in the form of old phone booths transformed into giant goldfish aquariums. Now, in New York City, a company called City24x7 is making strides in making the phone booth relevant as an information portal, even for those who’ve got a fully charged cell phone in their back pocket. (...)


These facilities offer passersby promotions from local merchants, warnings of local environmental hazards, and conveniently enough, double as WiFi hot spots.  (...)


The aim is nothing less than to use technology and new social media to “inform, project, and revitalize cities,” according to City24x7 CEO Tom Touchet, who recently presented his company’s smart screen tech at the Meeting of the Minds conference in San Francisco.

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Cities and biodiversity: a call for up-scaled action

Cities and biodiversity: a call for up-scaled action | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Urban design and public space influence us in profound and multifarious ways – our health, fitness, diets, social life, mobility, psychology, aspirations, etc. Indeed, our relationship with biodiversity is a strong determinant of our psychological and physical wellbeing. Architects, engineers, and planners, endorsed by foresighted mayors and informed by the voices of science and local community groups, can together reconcile urbanisation with nature conservation, to create more sustainable, biodiverse and resilient cities. Our generation could render a positive and enduring legacy for the benefit of future generations.


Via David Hodgson
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A new era of uncertainty

A new era of uncertainty | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In the 21st century we are working in an entirely new context, for which we need new types of cities. As noted by Ulrich Beck, we have arrived in 'a new era of uncertainty’, where energy, water and food supply are critical. ‘We live in a world of increasingly non-calculable uncertainty that we create with the same speed of its technological developments.’ (Beck, 2000)

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