Urban Life
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what to do to improve our lives in the city where we live
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Inside Arcology, the City of the Future (Infographic)

Inside Arcology, the City of the Future (Infographic) | Urban Life | Scoop.it

For over a century, writers and architects have imagined the cities of the future.

 In the late 1960s, architect Paolo Soleri envisioned “arcology” - a word that combines “architecture” and “ecology," with a goal of building structures to house large populations in self-contained environments with a self-sustaining economy and agriculture. “In the three-dimensional city, man defines a human ecology. In it he is a country dweller and metropolitan man in one. By it the inner and the outer are at ‘skin’ distance. He has made the city in his own image. Arcology: the city in the image of man.” (Paolo Soleri)
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luiy's curator insight, July 8, 2013 7:42 AM
For over a century, writers and architects have imagined the cities of the future as giant structures that contain entire metropolises. To some, these buildings present the best means for cities to exist in harmony with nature, while others forsee grotesque monstrosities destructive to the human spirit. In the mid-20th century, engineer and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller imagined city-enclosing plastic domes and enormous housing projects resembling nuclear cooling towers. These ideas are impractical but they explore the limits of conventional architectural thinking.  Science fiction writers and artists often imagine future architecture that oppresses the human spirit. Megastructures such as the pyramid-like Tyrell Buildings of “Blade Runner” dominate a decrepit skyline. The decaying old city is simply covered with layers of newer, larger buildings in a process of “retrofitting.” Beginning in the late 1960s, architect Paolo Soleri envisioned a more humane approach. The word “arcology” is a combination of “architecture” and “ecology.” The goal is to build megastructures that would house a population of a million or more people, but in a self-contained environment with its own economy and agriculture. “In the three-dimensional city, man defines a human ecology. In it he is a country dweller and metropolitan man in one. By it the inner and the outer are at ‘skin’ distance. He has made the city in his own image. Arcology: the city in the image of man.” (Paolo Soleri) In 1996, a group of 75 Japanese corporations commissioned Soleri to design the one-kilometer-tall Hyper Bulding, a vertical city for 100,000 people. Existing in harmony with nature, the Hyper Building was designed to recycle waste, produce food in greenhouses, and use the sun’s light and heat for power and climate control.  The structure was designed for passive heating and cooling without the need for machinery. An economic recession put the brakes on the project and it was never built. Soleri’s arcology concept is being put to the test in the Arcosanti experimental community being built in Arizona. Construction began in 1970. When complete the town will house 5,000 people. Buildings are composed of locally produced concrete and are designed to capture sunlight and heat. To be built in the desert near Abu Dhabi, Masdar is a 2.3-square-mile (6 sq km) planned city of 40,000 residents. Buildings are designed to reduce reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning, and the city will run entirely on solar power and renewable energy. Begun in 2006, the project is planned for completion around 2020-2025.
Fàtima Galan's curator insight, July 9, 2013 5:44 AM

Amazing and beautiful analysis!! Believe it or not, the science fiction also has something to teach us about the city of tomorrow.

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Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones...

Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones... | Urban Life | Scoop.it

When Mayor Bloomberg announced New York City’s Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge last winter, it was an opportunity to see how designers would reimagine these idle relics of last century’s infrastructure into something other than a shading device for smartphone-browsing in sunny weather.


From the looks of the finalists, which Bloomberg announced Tuesday, tomorrow’s payphone could have a lot of app-style features, from weather reports and wayfinding to voice and gesture control.

 

A handful of New York’s roughly 11,000 payphones already serve as wifi hotspots thanks to a pilot program launched by the city last summer, so the leap to hyperconnectivity isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. A few years down the line, we could all be using a shiny new network of payphones to call taxis by voice command, charge our devices, check the weather for our urban farms, and, inevitably, look at ads.

The six finalists are chosen in five categories—creativity, connectivity, functionality, community impact, and visual design.

 

Visit the article link to view the proposals and learn more about what may be the payphone of the future...


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D'Dline 2020 ✏ 's curator insight, March 10, 2013 5:26 AM

Nouveaux styles, nouvelles fonctions pour des cabines téléphoniques du futur 

kaja jacobs's curator insight, March 11, 2013 11:20 AM

looks so cool but people can do what you are doing not so cool

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10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth

10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth | Urban Life | Scoop.it

It wasn’t too long ago that the term ‘Smart City’ was not on very many people’s radar screens, but recently, it has been more familiar, and people are understanding the concepts behind smart cities.


A smart city uses information combined with technology to improve quality of life, reduce environmental impact, and decrease energy demand. This list of the smartest cities on the planet takes those factors into consideration, as well as the ‘smart’ plans the city might have for the future...


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ComplexInsight's curator insight, February 12, 2013 12:26 PM

Great find from Peter Jasperse's blog and an inspirational read for those interested in building a smarter cities and environments since these cities have already started along the journey.

Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
fantastic!
Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
fantastic!
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22 Cities Get Ready to Pilot the Future | Sustainable Cities Collective

22 Cities Get Ready to Pilot the Future | Sustainable Cities Collective | Urban Life | Scoop.it
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Re-imagining our cities for the 21st century

Re-imagining our cities for the 21st century | Urban Life | Scoop.it
The success of New York's High Line park has reinvigorated imagination in the way we use existing landscapes and architecture, says Sue Illman...
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The Place-Based Implications of the Digital Manufacturing Revolution | Planetizen

The Economist describes the dawn of the third industrial revolution, brought by the rise of digital manufacturing, and its implications for the how and the where of the future of industry.
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14 Tech-Forward Concepts Reshaping Our Future

14 Tech-Forward Concepts Reshaping Our Future | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Have you ever thought about how you would live in the future? These 14 cutting-edge projects are taking us one step closer.
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20 cities want your innovative ideas for a better future

20 cities want your innovative ideas for a better future | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Living Labs Global is a non-profit association which promotes new technologies and services in cities. In all, twenty cities have partnered with the organisation to identify innovative solutions to problems around tourism, transport, health and open government.


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Earth 2.0: Initialization

EARTH 2.0™ is an exciting and ambitious collaboration of innovative and far sighted developments in science and technology combined with the visualisation, imagery and stimulus achieved through the medium of film and interactive technologies to alter thinking and create a movement for change to deliver the sustainable world of the future. Earth 2.0: Initialization features Dr. Rachel Armstrong, Melissa Sterry, Niall Dunne and Tia Kansara, with a special appearance by international best-selling author Graham Hancock.

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eGov monitor - A Policy Dialogue Platform - Promoting Better Governance

eGov monitor - A Policy Dialogue Platform - Promoting Better Governance | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Ray Barker, director, BESA comments on its latest research in to ICT in UK schools and gives his advice on what this means for technology in education.


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Cities Are the Future of Human Evolution

Cities Are the Future of Human Evolution | Urban Life | 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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How will our future cities look?

How will our future cities look? | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Cities have inspired movie-makers, artists, architects and engineers for centuries, but what will they look like in the future?
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New Urban Ideas: 22 Cities Prepare to Pilot the Future

New Urban Ideas:  22 Cities Prepare to Pilot the Future | Urban Life | Scoop.it

22 cities have called for innovative solutions to solve urban challenges as part of the Citymart urban ideas competition. The aim is to identify & share solutions to challenges that cities face.


The 2012 competition attracted 1,519 entries from 70 countries. Now Aalborg, Barcelona, Boston, Christchurch, Eindhoven, Fukuoka DC, L’Hospitalet, Lagos, Lavasa, London, Maringa, Mexico City, Oulu, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rosario, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Sheffield, Tacoma, Terrassa and York all hope to evoke a similar response.


The cities have presented challenges across a vast array of areas including mobility, economic development, social inclusion, health and well-being, urban management, lighting, energy, culture, future government and sustainable lifestyles...


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10 Trends That Are Changing Cities Forever

10 Trends That Are Changing Cities Forever | Urban Life | 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.


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ddrrnt's curator insight, December 15, 2012 10:57 PM

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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The cities of the future will be grown, not built (Wired UK)

The cities of the future will be grown, not built (Wired UK) | Urban Life | Scoop.it
How building a chair out of a giant mushroom might herald a new urban ecology...

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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, February 11, 2013 7:14 PM

This is one approach to achieving Zero Footprint, by deeply integrating our lives with nature, working with it rather than against it. We will need to make our current cities thoroughly green in any event. Another approach is to isolate our presence from nature, creating a completely artificial environment in places that life is not currently occupying (much). A hybrid of the two is more likely the path we will take.

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The Future of the City 3: Pedal Revolution – Urban Times

The Future of the City 3: Pedal Revolution – Urban Times | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Today we publish the third installment of our series on The Future of the City, in partnership with design mind: a media platform examining trends in emerging technologies and global consumer culture, produced by designers, technologists, and...
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Marpole looks back to its future

Marpole looks back to its future | Urban Life | Scoop.it
VANCOUVER -- Gudrun Langolf and Claudia Laroye have two different visions of what their Marpole neighbourhood should look like 20 years from now. Laroye favours denser development, with residential towers along arterial roads.
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Mundo Ultracontemporâneo: Aldeia Contemporânea - As Cidades do Século 21

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Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective

Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Recently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Seattle-based Preservation Green Lab made urbanist media headlines (including Emily Badger’s January 25 Atlantic Cities story) with a report stating the environmental benefits of green retrofits of historic buildings, as compared to new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction. In addition, a local church restored as townhouses joined the list of intriguing Seattle adaptive reuse projects typical of national trends.

 

As our surroundings evolve, can we create incentives and inspiration for transformational places that are sustainable in form, function and attention to the past? I have touched on these questions before, when highlighting hill towns as placemaking icons and profiling Italy’s re-emerging Matera, the UNESCO World Heritage site also termed “the sustainable city of stone” (in The Atlantic last year)...


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Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons

Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons by Melissa Sterry, Design Scientist at the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research (AVATAR) group at University of Greenwich and Futurist and Curator at Earth 2.0 – a movement re-establishing a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature using science, art and digital creativity.


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Common Ground in a Liquid City: Essays in Defense of an Urban Future :: AK Press

Common Ground in a Liquid City: Essays in Defense of an Urban Future :: AK Press | Urban Life | Scoop.it

If we want to preserve what's still left of the natural world, we need to stop using so much of it. And cities are the best chance we have left for a sustainable future ... but only if they remain vibrant, dynamic spaces that are unfolded by millions of people working together—and not by master plans and planners. What will it take to make our cities truly sustainable?

 

In a world where the flow of money and jobs and people is largely determined by the whims of global capital, Matt Hern's Common Ground in a Liquid City is afreshingly down-to-earth look at the importance of place in the urban future.  


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