Designing for Engagement: Why Smart Cities Should be Human Cities

Andrew Johnson
Principal
Arup, Sydney

As society experiences one of the greatest periods of urbanization ever seen in human history, with over half the human population now residing in cities, designers will need to fundamentally rethink how people experience nearly every aspect of their lives in order to inform the effective smart city designs of the future. While technology and data can enable “smart cities” and allow for more efficiencies and connectivity, these technologies and insights need to be aligned with pre-identified and purposeful aims, in order to provide citizens with tangible benefits to their quality of life. Implementing developing technologies in service of urban citizens allows for a two-way dialogue between citizen and city. Thus, by drawing off this information thoughtfully, designers are in a unique position to create intelligent places that deliver engaging experiences as well as make a greater positive impact on the built environment across the lenses of energy-efficiency and occupant experience.

The next paradigm shift of architecture will move from designing places that last, but are static, to designing highly-adaptive spaces that learn and evolve in real-time in response to data-driven feedback provided by sensitive urban features that can measure, fix and plan. Discover how multidisciplinary design teams can work together to become a driving force behind more resilient cities that can plan and prepare for climate change while also providing diverse, pragmatic and helpful services to urban populations.

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