How urbanization changes the city as habitat
Increasing urbanization, in other words population migration to urban areas, is changing our lifestyle, our work and our coexistence with other people. But what does the city of the future look like?And how does a city become livable for its inhabitants? Through a functioning infrastructure? Through affordable housing? Clean air and plenty of green space? A diverse educational offer? Enough jobs? Or is fast Internet the key to success? There is no doubt that all these factors fundamentally influence our quality of life. They are all crucial for the political, economic and social stability of a city. In addition to new mobility concepts, an economic rethink and sustainable technologies, three fundamental building blocks are required if coexistence is to work: Closeness. Neighborhood. Social contacts. For what we most fear are faceless metropolises. The problem of urbanization: the rapid growth of the urban population not only creates challenges for infrastructures and a housing shortage. At the same time it leads to increasing anonymity in cities, which ultimately makes us feel lonely in spite of being surrounded by people. Lonely in the midst of millions of inhabitants. In order for cities to remain livable spaces, innovative concepts are needed that enable and promote the coexistence and communication of all residents, regardless of the social milieu. These include both sophisticated and simple technologies that ensure that people’s cumulative creativity is harnessed to a city. We have put together three exciting examples that show what the technological urban development of the future could look like:
Sidewalks that transform steps into energy
Cities should be designed for people rather than machines. With this in mind, clean tech start-up PaveGen has provided a creative solution for active participation in the city of tomorrow. The company recently presented ten square meters of “smart sidewalk” in London. The principle: The sidewalk consists of intelligent panels that transform every step into energy. A hidden generator beneath the surface is driven by the weight of passers-by, thereby generating electricity through electromagnetic induction. This can be fed, for instance, into the street lighting. An app is used to prepare the data and translate all the steps into a digital currency, which can then be redeemed as discounts at local stores. Being rewarded to explore cities, so to speak.
❞ Our vision is to create a better world through the power of footsteps. By involving people in the direct generation of energy we can make a difference to reducing the effects of climate change. ❝
The world’s first bio-tech filter for verifiably improving air quality
The Green City Solutions concept offers the perfect blend of green plants and Internet of Things technologies. The Berlin start-up uses special moss cultures, which filter pollutants such as fine dust and nitrogen oxides from the air, thus cleaning it naturally. Since there is usually only a scarce amount of water and shade available in cities, the rarely occurring mosses can hardly survive under natural conditions. The solution by Green City Solutions: a fully-automated water and nutrient supply ensures that the plants can act as sustainable natural air purifiers. There are now City Trees in many major cities in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany – and also in Dresden.
❞ The vision of Green City Solutions is a world where people in cities can live healthier lives. ❝
– Green City Solutions
Green indoor parks against the winter blues
What if it is pelting down with rain outside, but we would rather be in a green park than a crowded shopping mall or a café? Stockholm shows us how: the team at Utopia Arkitekter has designed the S:t Erik’s Indoor-Park, a covered and heated green area in the city center of the Swedish capital.The six domes over the park comprise wooden pillars up to 23 meters high, which are covered with a glass skin that allows daylight to flood in through the roof. The required heat is obtained via the filtered exhaust air from an adjacent parking garage. “S:t Erik’s” is thus a consistently green meeting place to counteract the Scandinavian winter blues.
© Utopia Ideas
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