Smart cities: The promises and failures of utopian technological planning

phys.org | 11/16/2018 | Staff
katz1234 (Posted by) Level 3





Technology and innovation transform the ways that we interact with governments, purchase products and manage our health and lives. This turmoil affects cities, where the accelerating digitalization of our economy has opened the door for more technologies. It has also created the space to design utopian projects that profile the ways technology can be used to improve the quality of urban life.

Urban planners, technology companies and developers are increasingly looking for ways to improve our lives and make our systems more efficient. If we continue to live as we have, polluting and making our air increasingly toxic, we may have to develop solutions like indoor tracks for dog-walking, à la the Jetsons. But is that what we aspire to become?

Utopias - Place - Community - Goal - Initiatives

Utopias are imagined as an ideal place or community. This is a difficult goal to achieve as evidenced by initiatives such as Brasília, Levittown, Celebration, Songdo, Eko-Atlantic and Sidewalk Labs Toronto.

We haven't figured out how to make utopian environments work for people. We have a long road ahead to make improvements that will both preserve the environment and improve our quality of life.

Book - Chapter - Solutions - Cities - Cambridge

In his forthcoming book chapter in Innovative Solutions for Creating Sustainable Cities (Cambridge Scholars, UK), intelligent community expert John Jung explains that utopian initiatives are diverting our attention away from the challenges of urbanization, such as poverty and housing security.

Utopian projects have faced much criticism, including not being able to scale up. Some pilot projects have been reported as inauthentic, as untrustworthy or flawed in design. True solutions need a community-engaged design process that promotes inclusion and avoids elitism or exacerbating existing problems.

France - Utopia - Brasília

France 24: What remains of the utopia of Brasília?

At the turn of the 20th century, the Garden City Movement, attempted to develop a utopian social ecosystem where people and nature would coexist in harmony. This influenced suburban...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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