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From left to right: Andreas Grömling, Dr. Amy Hochadel & Axel Lerche. From left to right: Andreas Grömling, Dr. Amy Hochadel & Axel Lerche.

Intelligent Urbanization: Industry Statements on Smart Cities

Challenges for the city of the future

 

More than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities, with a strong upward tendency. The infrastructural, social and cultural challenges are huge, but cities as technology hubs also offer potential solutions. Below, four industry experts explain which problems the cities of the future face and how they want to face them. 

Andreas Grömling

Consultant, Press Relations Werksviertel München; heller & partner Marketing Services AG

 

„Space is finite, and the space available must therefore be used all the more inventively.“

 

What should the ‘city of the future’ provide to its inhabitants?

Cities of the future will be marked to a large extent by processes of urban densification. Space is finite, and the space available must therefore be used all the more inventively. To achieve sustainability, it will be crucial to optimally realize all aspects of life in the immediate vicinity. Short distances, local supply, culture, leisure and recreation have to be far more than concepts in the city of tomorrow – they must become reality and enhance their residents’ quality of life.


What is the biggest challenge in this context?

Ever denser urban spaces make intelligent city concepts an absolute necessity. The important aspect here is that the anonymity of big cities does not continue to increase. On the contrary, we must find solutions that enable people to make city life more community-oriented and cooperative.


How can your project contribute?

The Werksviertel District will bring living, working and moving into a perfect symbiosis. Long commutes to workplaces are burdens both for the commuters themselves and for the traffic situations in cities. The Werksviertel District will offer people the opportunity to live and work in the same area. Immediate access to local supply, leisure-time activities and recreation are outstanding features of the Werksviertel District concept. These will strengthen the district’s spirit of community – and living and experiencing will go hand in hand. What’s more, seamless integration in public transit systems will ensure that residents can quickly reach the city of Munich as well as destinations near and far.

 

Axel Lerche

Co-Founder of EcoSmart Solution a subsidiary of Taurus Investment Holdings, LLC

 

„Innovation can only be successful if adapted by inhabitants.“

 

What should the ‘city of the future’ provide to its inhabitants?

Future city development must focus on residents. Aspects like comfort, health and safety are as important as energy efficiency, smart living and mobility solutions. Innovation can only be successful if adapted by inhabitants. An expert development concept is a holistic integration of technology and planning solutions; it must be a thoughtful improvement on the wellbeing of all urbanites. The EcoSmart program in Whisper Valley, Austin, TX, is a blueprint for city developments with sustainability and wellbeing in mind.


What is the biggest challenge in this context?

Innovative concepts have to provide affordable living and work space for inhabitants, a challenge in vast markets like the US, as any successful development concept is based on positive market response. Large master planned communities like Whisper Valley, meant for over 30,000 residents and
200,000 sqm of retail space, are a unique opportunity to create better communities. EcoSmart offers scalable solutions for smarter, more energy efficient homes, while still being affordable and available for most home buyers in a market like Austin.


How can your project contribute?

EcoSmart, a subsidiary of the premier real estate investment firm Taurus Investment Holdings, created a platform of sustainable community development, a conduit between investors, land planner, builder, innovative technology and the home owner. The proof of concept is the first home owners in Whisper Valley, who enjoy low utility bills and a smarter, healthier home for an affordable price. Other communities will follow this concept.

 

Dr. Amy Hochadel

Head of Global Business Growth, Future Cities Catapult

 

„Cities have a deep history of integrating innovative technologies to overcome the challenges of the day.“

 

What should the ‘city of the future’ provide to its inhabitants?

Cities have a deep history of integrating innovative technologies to overcome the challenges of the day and improve their competitive edge - from street lighting to skyscrapers – and urban innovators have long worked together to create places where people want to live, work and play.


What is the biggest challenge in this context?

In a globalized economy, cities’ ability to compete for talent, and the economic productivity that comes with it, is utterly dependent on demonstrating their vitality to the Advanced Urban Services we work to develop.
These challenges can include anything from overhauling anachronistic civic processes, unlocking new space for development to meet demand and tackling productivity-sapping urban design, to creating new inclusive environments that allow citizens of all ages and abilities to participate, contribute and flourish.


How can your project contribute?

Our work is focused in what we call the Advanced Urban Services sector. Core to our mission in this evolving sector is understanding and defining our rapidly expanding cities’ broad infrastructural challenges and opportunities with fresh eyes and exploring how new knowledge and technologies can connect to create innovative urban solutions.
From PropTech and PlanTech to applied neuroscience, indoor air quality and what makes some places 'innovation destinations’, our team will demonstrate how we can support your organisation to become an integral part of your own city’s future-focused infrastructure, in readiness for the challenges, and opportunities, of the twenty-first century.

 

Karolis Žemaitis

Head of Business; Go Vilnius, the official development agency of the City of Vilnius 

 

„Cities have a deep history of integrating innovative technologies to overcome the challenges of the day.“

 

What should the ‘city of the future’ provide to its inhabitants?

The idea of developing and promoting smart cities is becoming an increasingly relevant topic nowadays. They allow inhabitants and businesses to live more efficiently and do more in less time. Smart cities are also dynamic and can build confidence among investors and residents looking for an urban centre that continuously adapts to shifting demands.
One of the key elements of a smart city is having an open data policy. In doing so, residents and businesses can join forces and create smart solutions for their cities.


What is the biggest challenge in this context?

Open data unlocks a number of great opportunities that can be implemented for the benefit of an entire city. In this context, one of the biggest challenges is high demand for data and its privacy. On the other hand, open data itself does not provide smart solutions. They are created by inhabitants, businesses, non-organizational sector engaged. Such collective model of involvement is the biggest challenge.


How can your project contribute?

Vilnius can serve as a good example of an open and smart city that uses data to promote efficiency and transparency. Having made its data accessible to businesses and the public, Vilnius can also offer valuable consultations and share best practices across globe and with foreign cities. During the EXPO REAL fair, talents will be invited to share their innovative ideas with the representatives of the City of Vilnius (sand-box).

 

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