Imagining the cities of the future
Technology affects our everyday lives, from the way we work, how we move and interact with each other. With such rapid development and influence in daily functions, it is more important now than ever to plan for cities of tomorrow.
The general school of thought when it comes to smart cities focuses on pushing forward IoT, communications and information. However, it is more important to put the people first and plan from bottom up. A Smart city, just like any other urban development project, needs to be planned and involve all key stakeholders.
Stephen Yarwood, Urban futurist and former Lord Mayor of Adelaide, claims that "Understanding the role of citizens, the needs of citizens, and behaviours of citizens are really fundamental to how cities are actually built." He goes on to say that "Rather than designing cities and expecting people to live in them, we need to make sure that we understand what people want, and enable the citizens of the future to achieve what they want to, and what they need to, to be good citizens for today and tomorrow."
To enable a Smart City, we must utilise the infrastructure that we already have in place. We already have citizens that are wearing smart gadgets and living in smart homes. Rather than re-engineering the infrastructure we have, we must find an opportunity in them.
Mr Yarwood also believes artificial intelligence will play a crucial role in the cities of the future. “It’s the next climate change,” Mr Yarwood said. “AI will bring a tsunami of change to our cities.” He goes on to say “AI will reconnect people in different ways, it’s going to reorganise our day, our week, our lives. It will affect what resources we use, where we go, how we get there, what we do, what jobs are going to be involved and how that’s going to influence land uses.”