Some cities are adding high-tech infrastructure. Some are implementing revolutionary sustainability plans. Others are fostering innovative business and science developments. But which city combines these qualities and others to be the smartest city?
Norm Miller's insight:
Facilititating innovation and leveraging research centers are key.
Smart Cities and the Smart Grid: There are natural parallels between the Smart Grid and smart cities in terms of concepts and deployments, though cities have much more experience at evolution than the traditional electrical grid. After all, they have been adopting new technologies that disrupt the status quo for centuries. The Romans created aqueducts and fundamentally changed how water could be controlled and distributed in cities. Discoveries in hygiene and disease transmission and control allowed people to healthily live in population densities with minimized odds of large scale epidemics. And then automobiles exerted their influences on cities. In each case, city systems, policies, and people changed to accommodate new technologies, new knowledge and new practices.
Now, ambitious goals such as zero net energy buildings will change the relationships that physical structures have within cities, and in turn change the relationships that occupants (full or part-time) have within buildings and within cities.
Read the complete article for more on the latest advances in the building industry, infrastructure and transportation, and how smart cities will interact with the Smart Grid...
As the vertical farming trend has taken off in recent years, many architects and designers have begun tackling the question of how to marry agriculture with architecture. Here’s a look at some of our favorite concepts (most of them un-built) for fanciful food-producing pyramids, geodesic domes, flower pods, and insects
Visit the link for a list of conceptual projects ranging from Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut‘s design for the 132-story Dragonfly, a solar- and wind-powered vertical-garden concept for New York City’s Roosevelt Island— to Plantagon’s now-iconic design for a geodesic greenhouse...
When public spaces work well, they serve as a stage for our public lives. So what makes some succeed while others fail?
Great public spaces are where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges take place, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, neighborhood schools – where we interact with each other and government.
In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that successful ones have four key qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit.
Read the complete article for a more detailed explanation of the diagram illustrating the elements that contribute to successful public spaces, as well as the qualitative and quantitative criteria to consider when evaluating any given location or site...
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of worldwide energy use and are responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. They also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of those who inhabit them each day.
The mass of information about what makes a building green tends to concentrate on new and innovative designs that create beautiful photo spreads. While such examples are inspiring, they make up a very small percentage of all buildings in operation.
Green Buildings Alive is an environmental initiative aimed at collecting and sharing data on existing buildings between 10 and 60 years old. The data is collected from office towers in Australian Central Business Districts (CBDs) and shared on a public website.
For more on this innovative, environmental initiative that provides interactive visualizations of building-performance data to help understand the complexities and relationships among sustainability, health, and energy, read the complete article
As we plan for the future of our planet, it is imperative that we consider the effects of development on both the environment and human populations. A city is only truly sustainable if it uses natural resources efficiently while still fully meeting the needs of its inhabitants and a decent standard of living.
Recently, the UN Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) launched its “State of the World’s Cities Report 2012/2013” which addresses the prosperity of cities. According to the report, the first step to achieving prosperity is to define the goal: What does prosperity mean in 2012? This is a difficult question to answer given the vast disparity of living conditions throughout the world. Additionally, it is imperative that the definition of prosperity today consider the needs of future generations. To this end, UN-Habitat developed a “City Prosperity Index,” which translates the five dimensions of prosperity identified by UN-Habitiat—productivity, infrastructure development, quality of life, equity and social inclusion, environmental sustainability—into measurable indicators (see page 15 of the report).
This definition of the prosperous city is consistent with the principles of a smart, sustainable and just city... further reading at the article link