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Smart Cities: The Latest Architecture and News

Sidewalks That Generate Energy Through The Steps

09:00 - 27 February, 2019
Sidewalks That Generate Energy Through The Steps, Cortesia de Pavegen
Cortesia de Pavegen

When we think of energy from renewable sources, the first that probably come to mind are solar and wind. And decentralizing power generation is something that has inspired engineers and inventors from all over the world.

So what about turning the mechanical energy generated when people walk into electrical energy? It can be done thanks to technology developed by Laurence Kemball-Cook,founder of Pavegen. Using platforms inserted within sidewalks Pavegen converts steps into electric power (while also generating data and even rewards). But before you go out there feeling like Michael Jackson in Billie Jean, you should understand how this system works.

Cortesia de Pavegen Cortesia de Pavegen Cortesia de Pavegen Cortesia de Pavegen + 9

Manufactured Cities: A Case Study of the First Smart City in Brazil

07:00 - 13 January, 2019
Manufactured Cities: A Case Study of the First Smart City in Brazil , Aerial view of Smart City Laguna. Image by TecMundo
Aerial view of Smart City Laguna. Image by TecMundo

In 2017, ArchDaily Brazil reported that Smart City Laguna would become the first “smart city” in Brazil. With its inauguration scheduled for that same year, the venture opened with 1,800 units in its first phase, and in its final phase, 7,065 units divided between residential, commercial and technological uses.

Located in the Croatá district of São Gonçalo do Amarante, the first Brazilian smart city occupies 815 acres directly connected to the federal highway BR-22, which crosses the states of Ceará, Piauí, and Maranhão, starting in Fortaleza towards Marabá, in Pará. Its location has economic reasons: the proximity to Pecém Harbor, in Fortaleza, the Pecém Steel Company (CSP) and the Transnordestina Railroad make Croatá a strategic hub that has been recently occupied by technological companies, becoming a “digital belt” a little over 50 kilometers from the state’s capital.

The Electric Automated Cities of the Future, According to Jaguar and Barr Gazetas

09:00 - 21 December, 2018
The Electric Automated Cities of the Future, According to Jaguar and Barr Gazetas, © Barr Gazetas
© Barr Gazetas

Car manufacturer Jaguar has teamed up with architect Tom Barton of Barr Gazetas to imagine the consequences of an electrified automotive future on cities. Taking four case studies across the United Kingdom, the team speculated on existing infrastructural issues, and the opportunities for improvement made possible by the advent of electric cars.

With 180,000 electric vehicles on UK roads in 2018 and 1 million estimated by 2020, the case studies imagine a future where green alternatives to fossil fuels power transport and buildings in zero-emission cities. Below, we have republished the four scenarios, featuring a motorway, inner-city car park, industrial wasteland, and a wider urban landscape.

© Barr Gazetas © Barr Gazetas © Barr Gazetas © Barr Gazetas + 5

Siemens to use Expo 2020 Dubai as a Test Bed for Smart Cities

09:00 - 20 December, 2018
Siemens to use Expo 2020 Dubai as a Test Bed for Smart Cities, British Pavilion. Image © Es Devlin
British Pavilion. Image © Es Devlin

Tech giant Siemens is to partner with World Expo 2020 Dubai in rolling out a major smart building project, encompassing 130 structures in a digital platform to control energy efficiency, comfort, safety, and security.

As reported by Arabian Business, Siemens will “digitally connect, monitor, and manage essential functions of 137 buildings across the 4.38 square kilometer site, through its cloud-based energy analytics platform, Siemens Navigator.”

ecoLogicStudio's Bio-Digital Curtain Fights Climate Change by Filtering Air and Creating Bioplastic

11:00 - 9 November, 2018
ecoLogicStudio's Bio-Digital Curtain Fights Climate Change by Filtering Air and Creating Bioplastic, © NAARO
© NAARO

London-based architectural and urban design firm ecoLogicStudio has unveiled a large-scale “urban curtain” designed to fight climate change. “Photo.Synth.Etica” was developed in collaboration with Climate-KIC, the most prominent climate innovation initiative from the European Union, to “accelerate solutions to global climate change.”

Photo.Synth.Etica, currently on display at the Printworks Building in Ireland’s Dublin Castle, captures and stores one kilogram of CO2 per day, the equivalent to that of 20 large trees.

© NAARO © NAARO © NAARO © NAARO + 9

Could Future Cities be Crypto Cities? A Nevada Desert Experiment May Give an Answer

11:30 - 5 November, 2018
Could Future Cities be Crypto Cities? A Nevada Desert Experiment May Give an Answer, via Tom Wiscombe Architecture
via Tom Wiscombe Architecture

In a world increasingly obsessed with the potential of Blockchain (the decentralized technology behind Bitcoin), lawyer and cryptocurrency millionaire Jeffrey Berns has purchased an enormous 67,000-acre plot of the Nevada desert near Reno envisioned as an “experimental community” revolving around the technology.

His company, Blockchains LLC, has worked in collaboration with Tom Wiscombe Architecture and Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects (EYRC) to design “Innovation Park” which will be “developed into a smart city with decentralized Blockchain underlying all infrastructure.”

via Tom Wiscombe Architecture via Tom Wiscombe Architecture via Tom Wiscombe Architecture via Tom Wiscombe Architecture + 8

Microsoft is Looking for Architects to Partner With for the Future of Smart Cities

11:00 - 19 October, 2018
Microsoft is Looking for Architects to Partner With for the Future of Smart Cities

Toronto-based WZMH Architects has been recruited into Microsoft’s global Internet of Things (IoT) Insiders Labs, a program aimed at “transforming how people, devices, and data interact in every sphere of life.” The firm’s Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP) offers a “plug and play infrastructure” allowing a wide range of spaces and devices to be adapted, remotely-controlled, and optimized.

WZMH is the first architecture firm to be accepted into the program, which takes applications from organizations developing IoT and/or AI solutions.

Insight into Secretive Unbuilt NEOM Megacity ahead of Saudi Royal Visit

12:00 - 1 August, 2018

Following the October 2017 unveiling of NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s $500-billion futuristic city billed as a “startup the size of a country,” details of the project's progression have been scarce. Situated close to the border with Jordan and the Red Sea, the remote area has been sealed off to visitors, leaving onlookers to speculate with minimal details, such as the announcement by Japan’s Softbank that they were investing in the megacity.

However, news carried by Reuters suggests that the project may be far more advanced than originally expected, reporting that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has arrived in NEOM for a holiday. The news marks a break in tradition from the King’s holiday choices, typically a villa in Morocco or the South of France. Reuters also detail a design document revealed to them offering the first descriptions of what the architecture of NEOM may contain.

These Are The 50 Smartest Cities in the World in 2018

06:00 - 26 July, 2018
These Are The 50 Smartest Cities in the World in 2018, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/22240293@N05'>Flickr user Francisco Diaz</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>. Image: New York City, ranked #1 on the Cities In Motion Index
© Flickr user Francisco Diaz licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image: New York City, ranked #1 on the Cities In Motion Index

The Center for Globalization and Strategy from Barcelona’s IESE Business School has unveiled its annual list of the world’s smartest cities. In its fifth year, the IESE Cities in Motion Index has calculated the performance scores for 165 cities across 80 countries based on an exhaustive rubric of economic and social indicators. Familiar global power centers have maintained their position at the top of the heap, while expanded categories of assessment have helped a few small cities advance their position drastically.

Snøhetta Designs Sustainable Data Center as "The Body and Brain of Future Cities"

12:00 - 22 June, 2018
Snøhetta Designs Sustainable Data Center as "The Body and Brain of Future Cities", Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes
Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes

Snøhetta has released images of its proposed sustainable data center concept, named “The Spark.” The project seeks to address the typical high-energy-consuming typology of the data center, transforming it into an “energy-producing resource for communities to generate their own power.”

The proposal is adaptable for a wide range of contexts and can be scaled for any location around the world, fueling connected cities with energy from the center’s excess heat.

Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes + 5

Woods Bagot Rethinks Higher Education for the University of Melbourne

08:00 - 18 April, 2018
Woods Bagot Rethinks Higher Education for the University of Melbourne, Courtesy of Woods Bagot
Courtesy of Woods Bagot

In partnership with Lendlease and the University of Melboure, Woods Bagot designed an architectural reflection of the university itself. Named the Carlton Connect Initiative, this masterplan will be a mixed-use precinct where not only university students and staff, but also international business professionals, researchers, and start-ups can come participate in idea exchange. In order to attract the best and brightest for the university, Woods Bagot is pursuing the highest standard of cutting-edge, sustainable design.

UNStudio Founder Launches Startup for Shaping Human-Focused Smart Cities

14:14 - 14 March, 2018
Courtesy of UNStudio
Courtesy of UNStudio

A bounty of technological innovations in the 21st century have led to the theorization and implementation of so-called "Smart Cities," urban environments driven by data, and designed for efficiency. Although most smart technology focuses on infrastructure, a new tech startup named UNSense has been launched with adopts a human-centric approach, focusing on health and wellbeing.

Founded by Ben van Berkel, Principal Architect of Dutch firm UNStudio, and based in an Amsterdam innovation hub, UNSense aims to use technical interventions in the urban realm to improve people’s physical, mental and social health. As an independent, sister company of UNStudio, UNSense will specialize in sensor-driven technology for user-focused architecture – a "software" approach offering a counterpoint to the "hardware" of UNStudio.

Courtesy of UNStudio Courtesy of UNStudio CitySense. Image Courtesy of UNStudio Solar Brick. Image Courtesy of UNStudio + 5

New, Innovation-Driven, "Smart City" Will be Built Just South of Boston

08:00 - 15 November, 2017
New, Innovation-Driven, "Smart City" Will be Built Just South of Boston, Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects
Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

Smart cities” are the latest urban phenomenon popping up across the globe. Among the newest being realized will be Union Point, a masterplan with a commitment to innovation located just south of Boston, USA.

What is a “smart city?” It is a city in which embeds multiple data collection technologies within the city in hopes of providing a supportive and competitive advantage to the city’s residents and business. Officials then use this data to make their cities safer, healthier, and more efficient. Cities are not geniuses quite yet, but the “smart city” is rethinking the way cities are run.

Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects + 14

ISU Talks: 5 Future Cities

12:02 - 17 October, 2017
ISU Talks: 5 Future Cities, ISU Talks FUTURE CITIES - ISU 2017
ISU Talks FUTURE CITIES - ISU 2017

The fast spread of digital technologies in our daily life is generating inevitable transformations in our society. Digital ubiquity is changing the way we perceive and interact with the urban realm. The digitalization of analysis, planning and design processes creates the opportunity to decode the complex dynamics of current challenges of cities.

Are Smart Cities Doomed to Promote Inequality?

09:30 - 27 September, 2017
Are Smart Cities Doomed to Promote Inequality?, As the former Chief Urban Designer of New York City, Alexandros Washburn had to carefully consider whether technological developments were right for the city's residents. Image © <a href='https://www.pexels.com/photo/bridge-brooklyn-bridge-buildings-city-534757/'>Pexels user Kai Pilger</a> licensed under CC0
As the former Chief Urban Designer of New York City, Alexandros Washburn had to carefully consider whether technological developments were right for the city's residents. Image © Pexels user Kai Pilger licensed under CC0

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Can the Wired City Also Be the Equitable One?"

A city is smart when it makes better decisions, and there are only two types of decision: strategic and tactical. Strategic decisions determine the right thing to do. Tactical decisions choose the right way to do it. SMART technology is not smart technology if it causes us as citizens to confuse strategy with tactics. In other words, there are many decisions about the operation of a city that we may delegate happily to technology. But there are questions of governance, of determining our fate, of deciding what is the right thing to do as populace, that if we delegate—we abdicate. “To govern is to choose,” John F. Kennedy once said.

If I were to have believed the many consultants and emissaries of large technology companies that came to see me when I was the Chief Urban Designer of New York City, the SMART city they promised me was a place where the traffic lights always turned green and the elevator doors always awaited our arrival. They promised a city that would anticipate our needs at every turn, given tantalizing form in the recent present of our connected personal devices and the apps that seem to know us better than we know ourselves. Now, with the advent of the internet of things on the near horizon, we are set to make SMART cities a reality. Imagine the awesome power of an entire city synchronized to our taste and movement!

CBT Unveils Community-Oriented Phase 2 Masterplan for Masdar City

15:10 - 15 June, 2017
CBT Unveils Community-Oriented Phase 2 Masterplan for Masdar City, Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT
Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT

“The world’s most sustainable eco-city,” Masdar City, is preparing for its next phase of development, as unveiled in the award-winning detailed master plan (DMP) by CBT. Depicted in a comprehensive masterplan by Foster + Partners, Masdar was originally envisioned as a carbon-neutral elevated city without cars, instead featuring pod-based transportation located below the podium. As the first phase was constructed, including the Masdar Institute of Technology, a new vision for the city began to emerge, eventually leading to CBT’s pedestrian-oriented innovation community plan for Phase 2.

Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT + 9

Media City, Istanbul - From Micro Code to Macro City

16:00 - 4 June, 2017
Media City, Istanbul - From Micro Code to Macro City, Courtesy of GAD Architecture
Courtesy of GAD Architecture

For over ten thousand years, cities have maintained an industrial infrastructure to transform local materials into basic necessities, such as clothing, food, and shelter. Even in the present day, with advances in science, construction, and commercial technology, a need still exists for structures dedicated to industrial-scale production, storage and distribution. However, in this more advanced, environmentally-conscious age, a challenge has emerged to create industrial complexes which are ecologically sensitive, responsible and sustainable.

Against this environmental backdrop, Istanbul-based GAD Architecture have unveiled Media City, a multimedia-based industrial complex to serve Istanbul’s future airport, projected to be the world’s largest upon completion. Recognized with a Future Project Award by the Architectural Review, Media City will incorporate industrial buildings in an urban setting inspired by QR codes, where artistic and cultural values co-exist with a celebration of environmental and technological progress.

Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture + 11

"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design

10:30 - 3 March, 2016
"Array of Things" is A Ray of Hope for Big-Data-Based Urban Design, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

For a number of years now, Smart Cities and Big Data have been heralded as the future of urban design, taking advantage of our connected, technological world to make informed decisions on urban design and policy. But how can we make sure that we're collecting the best data? In this story, originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "'Array' of Possibilities: Chicago’s New Wireless Sensor Networks to Create an Urban Internet of Things," Matt Alderton looks at a new initiative in Chicago to collect and publish data in a more comprehensive way than ever before.

If it hasn’t already, your daily routine will soon undergo a massive makeover.

For starters, when your alarm clock goes off, it will tell your coffeemaker to start brewing your morning joe. Then, when you’re on the way to work, your car will detect heavy traffic and send a text message to your boss, letting her know you’ll be late. When you arrive, you’ll print out the agenda for today’s staff meeting, at which point your printer will check how much ink it has left and automatically order its own replacement cartridges.

At lunch, you’ll think about dinner and use your smartphone to start the roast that’s waiting in your slow cooker at home. And when you come home a few hours later, your house will know you’re near, automatically turning on the lights, the heat, and the TV—channel changed to the evening news—prior to your arrival. It will be marvelous, and you’ll owe it all to the Internet of Things (IoT).