Friday, February 20, 2015

Smart Cities and Innovation: Resilience, Adaptation, and Eco Districts

In a Pasadena/DC/Seattle/Baltimore online conference call I participated in coordinating a panel presentation at the National AiA Convention in Atlanta this year. 

Smart Cities and Innovation: Resilience, Adaptation, and Eco Districts

Among other things I want elaborate on this: 

Cities now represent the core hubs of the global economy, acting as hives of innovation in technical, financial and other services. A quote from a 2011 brochure titled “the new economics of Cities”  

Cities and metro regions have become the dominant human life-form, 
Cities are considered more nimble, easier to govern and therefore more innovative
Many Cities have become the drivers in sustainability, in resilience, in local food production and in alternative transport
Increasingly mayors collaborate across continents 
The Global Cities Initiative is a five-year project that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets.

In this context it is obvious that urban design has to step up its game. 
No longer can it be simply a Collin Rowe’s “bricolage”, a Collage City of artful but gut level juxtaposition of fragments nor can it simply be what Rem Koolhaas has occasionally propagated, mere self organization. No longer can we represent cities with wood models. 
The Big U a collaborative resilience plan for lower Manhattan, a AIA National Honors Award 2015 winner (I was a jury member) 

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