“Cities lead, nations follow” – How and why cities are defining this century

Following our article “Embracing the metropolitan revolution”, we now turn our focus to why cities should lead decision-making in the 21st century and how cities can take this lead.  It is time to rethink the power hierarchy and define which system can empower citizens the most in order to face current economic and social challenges.  Why …

Is hyperdensity the best solution for cities?

We’ve written about the debate around urban density and urban sprawl before, and found that there isn’t a definitive answer as to which is better for building sustainable, smart and friendly cities. However, Vishaan Chakrabarti from Columbia University offers a point of view strongly in favor of urban density, and even for a more advanced concept which …

Autonomous vehicles and their impact on the city

Owning a car used to be a status symbol or an expression of personal identity, but younger generations today are much less interested in cars. They see mobility as a service, and themselves as its users. And as cars are becoming less popular, so is the act of driving. There are more and more attempts …

The Engineering Living Materials program – a house that can grow and repair itself

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has certainly had its hand in turning the gizmos and gadgets we used to dream of into a reality. The agency is still hard at work blazing the trail for future tech, issuing challenges for the creation of the most advanced things on this Earth. It has now taken on a new challenge, this …

The Sharing Cities project: responsibility and passion for the future

The Sharing Cities ‘lighthouse’ programme is a proving ground for a better, common approach to making smart cities a reality. By fostering international collaboration between industry and cities, the project seeks to develop affordable smart city solutions. It will result in integrated commercial-scale smart city solutions with a high market potential.  The demonstration districts in …

The zero-emission flying boat taxi in Paris

A French inventor plans to have driverless vehicles – or ‘flying boat taxis’ – hovering over the River Seine in the not-too-distant future. Alain Thebault is a man with a dream – he wants to make sailboats fly – and his design is already proving popular. In fact, it’s something the Frenchman has been working on for …

Dubai, the city of tomorrow today

Heaven-defying architecture, 3D-printed buildings, self-driving cars, and pneumatic Hyperloop transport. It really looks like every futurist’s wish list – but for Dubai tomorrow is today and this ambitious emirate is taking the lead with numerous projects, completed and planned. Let’s review some of the projects and see why Dubai really is the City of the …

Urban sprawl vs. compact cities: what’s the smart solution?

When discussing smart cities, a structural question has been creating intense debate among experts – should a smart city be compact or allow ‘urban sprawl’, outward expansion into surrounding rural areas? Many argue that urban sprawl is a dangerous process because it takes over valuable farmland, at a time when food production is already not …

Cyber-threats to smart cities

Cyber-threats are expanding in every way from attack frequency to scale, sophistication and impact severity. The rate of code vulnerabilities found in dated, internet-accessible software also shows no signs of abating. Crypto-ransomware that leverages clever engineering techniques is also on the rise. As more and more smart devices running critical infrastructure organizations can connect to the …

Traffic Light Assist – a vehicle to infrastructure communication

The ‘Traffic Light Assist’ technology, which will be launched by Audi in the autumn, aims to tell driver exactly how long they have before traffic lights change colour. It will communicate with new smart traffic lights already installed  select cities and metropolitan areas. Audi will begin offering a new traffic light technology in three of its …