The Long Road to Sustainable Cities (via The Dirt)

It seems that even with fragmented and partial approaches to sustainability it is possible for cities to achieve results that might contribute to long term resilience and it is encouraging to get published news of this, culture changes slowly and politicians who control the funds need proof that what is proposed will yield results as well as what not to do.

The Long Road to Sustainable Cities "Sustainability in America’s Cities: Creating the Green Metropolis," edited by Matthew Slavin, founder and Principal of Sustaingrϋp, is a collection of case studies that chart the progress of sustainable urban development in eight cities across the United States. The case studies explain how these cities have applied innovative strategies and invested in climate change mitigation and adaptation, clean energy, green buildings, sustainable transpor … Read More

via The Dirt

What Is an Intelligent City? (via The Dirt)

I’m not sure the question is correctly phrased because it would seem to me that only living beings can be intelligent – with all the digital tech in the world it still takes humans to design for humans as is here rightly stated

What Is an Intelligent City? A day-long forum at the National Building Museum sought to answer the question: What is an intelligent city? To guide the 350-plus attendees towards a working definition, leading policymakers, architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers and coders, and academics discussed the evolving relationships between information and communication technologies (ICTs), the built environment, and the people who make up cities. ICTs and Cities Ann Alt … Read More

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Interview with Nina-Marie Lister on Ecological Urbanism (via The Dirt)

More from a key academic contributor in the Landscape Urbanism – Landscape Urbanism debate

Interview with Nina-Marie Lister on Ecological Urbanism Nina-Marie Lister, MCIP, RPP, Affiliate ASLA, is Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning at Ryerson University, and Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (GSD). She is a contributor to "Ecological Urbanism" and co-editor of "The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty and Managing for Sustainability." Lister recently served as the Professional Advisor to the ARC I … Read More

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How smart should a city be?

From the perspective of a skeptic I often feel the dream of the ‘smart city’ equates tot the idea of Big Brother and the controls of the police state, the more smart it becomes the more controlled we are – indoctrinated by our media and our tools (smart phones) we buy and live as some “other’ global media conglomerate determines and never forgetting the nightmares of incipient intelligence a la “Minority Report” and other science fiction classics…. I thus welcome a more balanced and user friendly vision of technology in cities and the participation they might afford us by Gravitymax on [polis]

Imagine a city that can anticipate your needs and desires, and provide you with information you’ll need to know based on what it knows about you. Such is the vision of many in the field of urban and ubiquitous computing, and it is a discourse that is becoming more popular and powerful.
User experience designer and writer Adam Greenfield challenges this vision of techno-utopia. Instead of cities that are smart, he prefers ones that make us smarter. Greenfield believes that people will always be much better at making sense of the world than artificial intelligence. He proposes a network of open public “objects” (data collected from, and generated in, public space) that can be understood and used by the public.
Of course, this model is not without its challenges. Government policies surrounding privacy, corporate interests in ownership of data, and standardization of a presentation layer are just a few that come to mind. Tackling these challenges may seem like a daunting task, but hopefully these kinds of conversations will continue and attract the attention of people with the right amount of influence to make things happen.

Adam Greenfield is the founder of the urban systems design practice Urbanscale. He is also a former head of design direction at Nokia and has taught at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. 


Credits: Video from Blinkenlichten TV.