For the world’s growing urban populations, the “new normal” must mean better and sustainable places to live and work, and ways to travel, for all – not just a privileged few. By Barbara Norman and Peter Newman
Cities around the world are facing similar challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for physical distancing has once more emphasised the need for digital innovation in local governance processes. The ideas competition #SolutionsForCities provides a platform where cities and solution providers can further develop and adjust solutions for urban challenges in times of a pandemic.
The concept of Smart Cities heavily relies on collecting enormous amounts of citizens' data – and thus raises concerns as to what this data can be used for. Brad Smith on dangers, potentials, and everyday means to protect one's privacy.
Everyone wants to go smart. But Emana Nsikan-George warns against creating a new class of unfit-for-smart-city urban dwellers, especially when African cities are still struggling with fundamental development goals. A thought-provoking tale of smart fantasies and urban realities.
Technological transformation is rapidly changing our cities. To ensure that they are changing them for better, sustainability, digitalisation, and urban development must go hand in hand. Luciana Maia and François van Schalkwyk present an assessment tool for digital solutions which helps to find the necessary connections.
Minecraft is one of the most popular computer games in the world. Like a virtual version of Lego, it invites players to create their own world of buildings, villages, and other spatial elements. Every month, more than 110 million people play Minecraft – but did you know that it can also be used for urban planning?
Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. But can maps help in coping with natural disasters? Harry Mahardhika Machmud from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Indonesia shows why spatial data is key for disaster management, and how it can be tailored to the needs of local communities.
Rakhi Mehra reveals the story behind a pioneering digital tool that wants to help revolutionise the quality of informal housing. After a few clicks, users receive a customised construction manual and cost-overview with the aim of ensuring that their house meets the safety requirements it needs to stand the test of time.
The concept of smart cities brings with it both risks and opportunities for informal settlements. Through technical innovation, they do have the potential of making slums more resilient, argues Laurinda Godjo – if they are not only smart cities but also inclusive cities.
How can Vietnamese cities avoid the environmental pitfalls of rapid urbanisation? Adam Ward proposes solution-driven policies for key areas.
Cities can only become “smart” if they are responsive to their citizens – therefore, local governments need to take the lead in the digital transformation, says Bilal Saghir.
What’s the secret to smart urban development? The answer is simple, says Tomer Chelouche: Engage and respect local residents.
How can digitalisation of urban services increase sustainable urbanisation? What different approaches and innovations already exist and have proven successful? Kala Vairavamoorthy, director of the International Water Association addresses these questions.
Human-centred impact innovation can be an extraordinary source of social and economic growth for cities and metropolitan areas in developing regions that drives growth of urban communities, supporting equitable and sustainable development and inclusive prosperity.