Tomorrow’s urban areas would be much smarter and responsive.
This came from Carlo Ratti, a professor andMITSenseable City Laboratory’s director.
Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Senseable City Laboratory conducts studies on how digital technologies change people’s lives and their effects on cities.
According to Ratti, big changes in urban landscapes and lifestyles would happen in the next decade. The way of moving, communicating and shopping will belargely different from how we do it today. He said the scenario is a result of the impact of new technologies on people’s experiences.
From engineers and architects to scientists have varied pictures about the future urban landscape, some illusory and like a scene from a sci fi movie: featuring flying taxis and suspended skyscrapers. However, Ratti’s vision is more realistic. He said technology will have more effect on cities’ human experience, than on physical forms.
Ratti’s views about how tomorrow’s urban landscape and living would be were gathered through email exchanges he had with NBC News MACH.Briefly, here are some of Ratti’s visions of the future urban landscapes and people’s way of life:
On human mobility
There will be self-driving cars, but not autonomous drones as means of transportation for reasons relative to technology and safety.
Digital information will enable individuals to choose from a range of transportation or mobility options:walking, bicycling, sharinga ride, on-demand transport, and train, among others. One just needs to visit a website, and choose the preferences. This is similar to what we do at presentrelative to air travel.
Roads will have other functions aside from traffic
Roads will not be only for transportation traffic. Under what Ratti calls the “adaptable paving system”, a street lined by residences and establishments can serve other functions such as being a children’s playground or a basketball court during other times of the day.Thisis done through insertions of light signals and other elements.He also calls thisThe Dynamic Street wherein digital technologies afford flexibility and responsiveness in both living and mobility.
Hybrid physical and digital buildings
Buildings have both physical and digital functions. For example, the Angelli Foundation’s headquarters in Italy are fitted with sensors that detect human presence, and responds with customized need for air conditioning andlighting. The concept results in energy conservation.
Improved Use of Space
There are ways in which a room can be converted into a multi-use space. Some home furnishings can be reconfigured so that a room can have many uses. Other ways would be sharing living (co-living) and working (co-working) spaces.
The future cities will produce enormous amount of data, out of which people can produce new services, businesses and better metropolis advocacies, said Ratti.For example, citizenry can help in monitoring infrastructure project with technology embedded in cell phones.
Customers will increasingly use digital features in doing their purchases for basic products.However, actual shopping for fresh produce will not be lost, and stores will ensure unique experiences for their customers.