Rethinking Smart Cities Holistically

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the secondary benefits of smart cities.
  • Learn how to implement nature-based solutions in a smart city context and how to use them to improve equity, health, and climate resilience.
  • Learn how current developments from COVID-19 may impact these benefits in positive or negative ways.

More Course Details

Implementing smart city solutions may result in underused spaces in cities and towns. For example, Mobility as a Service and autonomous vehicles may result in obsolete road lanes and parking spaces. E-commerce already results in obsolete spaces for stores and parking. Telecommuting and changes in workplaces have an impact on commuter patterns and related spaces. Current COVID-19–related changes in the ways people live, work, and play accelerate these trends even more.

Looking holistically at this creation of obsolete spaces as a secondary impact from smart cities offers tremendous opportunities to solve some of the most pressing challenges urban planners are currently facing, such as climate change (flooding, heat, etc.), health issues (air quality, lack of physical activity, etc.), and inequality (disadvantaged communities, etc.).

This session suggests a holistic approach, analyzing obsolete spaces and reusing these spaces for nature-based solutions. This rethinking of the deployment of smart city technologies in an approach that integrates technology, nature, and community will result in equitable, environmentally sustainable, and resilient cities. The session will also explore different scenarios on how these smart city-related trends may be accelerated or reversed because of the social distancing and digital work practices we face today.

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