Digital phenomena Category

What will cities look like 30 years from now?

I joined a carbon reduction event yesterday where, by way of introducing ourselves, we were each asked to predict the future: what did we think we would see more of in 2050 – in terms of objects, experiences and services. A neat little ice-breaker if ever there was one. Here are my top-of-the-head responses: 1. […]

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Office or home – where’s the best place to work from in the New Normal?

The question about when we return to work is also a question about how we return to work. For many, remote working has been a revelation. Perhaps not ideal in every respect but certainly helpful in many: the convenience of not commuting, the realisation that Zoom, Teams, Miro, Skype, Whatsapp and other platforms mean it’s […]

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No board rooms, no desks. The office of the future…

Images of future offices, with physically distanced workstations to separate desk-bound workers, seem to miss the point. Offices aren’t for staying apart – they’re for coming together. But how can that be organised in a post-COVID world? Offices have desks because we’ve long thought that people couldn’t or shouldn’t work from home. Attitudes were changing […]

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Silver linings: how design can exploit the virus

A “to do” list for urban planners, architects & interior designers, in response to the coronavirus. In towns & cities: reduce traffic speeds to 20mph/30kph to discourage speeding on empty streets during lockdown & to keep the air clean, the sound low & the accidents down after the “return”. On wide streets: broaden footways to […]

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We, robots

The subject of robotics is multi-dimensional, disruptive & urgent. In my summing up at the Public Debate of the Robotics Atelier at the Norman Foster Foundation, I identified three types of robot: Type 1_The robot of repetitive tasks – this kind of robot will end many kinds of manual jobs that people currently have in […]

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Notes from first ULI UK Tech Forum

1. We need to have a clear definition of technology. Physical as well as digital technology. Users and uses as well as creators and providers. Pre-construction, construction, post-construction.  2. Because we’ve always had technology: a. Writing (wooden stylus & wax tablet) movement b. Air conditioning – occupancy c. Underfloor heating – occupancy d. The shower […]

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We don’t guess the structural performance of individual buildings so why do we guess the human performance of entire cities?

The structural steelwork of a large and complex building would not be designed without running engineering calculations. Even the smallest of buildings is subject to objective structural analysis. No client and professional team would rely on guesswork, no matter how famous or experienced the architect or engineer. So why do we leave the human performance […]

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Open data needs open attitudes

Tim Stonor speaks at the Building Research Establishment about his experience using data in the planning and design of buildings and urban settlements.

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Technology by necessity

Notes for today’s talk at the NLA’s conference on “How do we build a smarter London” The London context: – more people (growing population) – more data (sensors everywhere) – more sophisticated computing. Strategic problem: how to handle it all. Space Syntax’s experience: address the problem via “the questions of reality”. The commercial application of Space Syntax […]

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Bill Hillier’s Smart London

Notes of Bill Hilliers opening talk about the NLA Smarter London exhibition, 8th October 2014. Congratulations to the NLA and CASA for the exhibition. It’s evidence that London is the original smart city – nowhere such a collection of top class practices, imaginative authorities and academic departments developing new ways of doing things, and new […]

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Forwards to the past! Technology’s greatest triumph

Rick There are so many reasons why what you have set out below is interesting. But I think I can take a different position to the one that you are developing. My approach will be that, far from taking the human mind, behaviours, and cultural norms beyond where they have ever been before, the true […]

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Building a Smart City modelling team

. Cities planning their future are increasingly turning to the production of Integrated Urban Models. These are tools that bring together various datasets on different asoects of urban performance, from the behaviour of people to the flows of energy, water and other utilities. The aim is to better predict the future of cities by better understanding […]

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RIBA thinkpiece launched: “A SMART approach to digital planning & design”

The RIBA today launched a set of think-pieces on Digital planning: ideas to make it happen.

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Digital urbanism – a sketch of a structure

Digital Urbanism has two key components: 1.  Computing That organisations and individuals are involved in the creation, collection, visualisation and analysis of data, leading to the creation, through computing, of modelling tools and predictive analytics. This kind of activity is now central to the operations of public and private organisations. It is no longer peripheral. […]

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Move, interact, transact – the human dimension of Smart Cities

http://youtu.be/U63hMTIQW8I Speaking at the invitation of the organisers of the British Business Summit, Istanbul, Turkey.

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Space Syntax: the push of intent, the pull of need and the resistance of the “pre-digital”

I was asked an interesting question yesterday about the barriers to growth and acceptance of Space Syntax and Integrated Urban Models. I believe there are three important components to the answer. First, the growth of Space Syntax Limited‘s business was robust for 19 years, following its startup as a UCL spinoff company in 1989 – until […]

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A definition of “Smart” – screens, signs and shop windows

“Smart” is too often, too narrowly defined in terms of the benefits of digital technology. Of course, digital technology can help cities to be smarter. But being smart means much more than that. My own preference is to define “smart” by focusing on three factors: 1. people 2. the information that people receive 3. the […]

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Spatial Planning and the Future of Cities

How might cities be planned in the future? This is not only a question of how they might look but also, and more importantly, about how they might be laid out as patterns of buildings and spatial connections. Laying out a city means answering two key questions: “what goes where?” and the “how does it all connect together?” […]

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Smart City Planning & Design Principles

Smart Cities are smart in two ways. First, they harness technologies to improve the way that urban places are led and managed. Second, they create better outcomes for the people that use them. This two-pronged approach applies to all aspects of Smart Cities. When it comes to the planning and design of Smart Cities, technology […]

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How should the Transport industry change?

First, by seeing the purpose of Transport as the facilitation of human transaction and not only as the movement of people/goods and the construction of roads, rails and runways. Second, that the economic benefits of transport investments are measured not as savings in time but as the creation of opportunities. Third, that when you say transport, people think […]

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