We live at a pivotal time. Geopolitical shifts, global volatility, unprecedented migrations, diasporas, climate crises, health crises, and looming recessions are colliding.
Increasingly scarce resources – from the biosphere to the economy – and extreme unbalances in their distribution, call for action. The global model as we knew it requires some reconsideration if we are to prevent continuous meltdowns. If crises are opportunities to discern, and, examine, what is The Good Life? Under the current fast-changing conditions, one question is how architecture and territorial strategies may be able to evolve and gain relevance in a global arena to provide better housing and more livable and inclusive cities.
We consider Future Cities and Tech. Throughout recent history, cities have always been the places where the action is. They are relentless engines of innovation and zones for radical experimentation. Half of the world’s population is living in increasingly dense cities and close to two-thirds of it is projected to live in urbanized areas by 2050. Over the last decades, cities across continents have been strategizing how to make the best use of new communication and information technologies: every new planning and policy document envision “smart” systems, blueprints for future cities. Such systems incorporate elements of technological innovation as a key infrastructure to alleviate urban complexities and to resolve a crucial problem: if cities are a laboratory to test future lifestyles, they are also, to a great extent, unsustainable places.
The provocative question is, as “smart cities” are being conceived and designed, how can they be designed as the places where people are “happier”, healthier and more creative?
Can technologies smoother inequalities when it comes to access to housing, better access to nature and healthier, and more sustainable and desirable lifestyles?
These issues will be discussed and teased out from our speakers which include Paolo Tombesi (Switzerland), Bas Smets (Brussels), Mark Lee (United States), Christopher Roth (Germany), Anna Gasco (Amsterdam), Sumayya Vally (South Africa), J. Meejin Yoon (United States), Doryun Chong (Hong Kong) and Mandana Bafghinia (Canada).
The series has been conceived and organized by Alessandra Cianchetta, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, HKU.