I was recently asked to write a piece for Digitalisation World - and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed doing it! The term Smart City has been floating around for years and yet confusion around what it means is still abundant - I've worked with clients who heavily target the smart city market, while other clients have doubted that they even exist.
Through my work with Archiboo it's been fascinating seeing how the conversation has evolved within the architecture industry. It has led me to question whether this confusion is a symptom of a very real problem at the heart of what the smart city means: Cities are, by their nature, organic, a collection of hyper-local centres. Yet smart cities are too often discussed as the antithesis of this, in a manner that implies amalgamation and standardization.
How can these two co-exist? In my view the smart city can only exist once architects and smart city innovators can effectively collaborate and agree on how to balance the human desire for identity and the city-level need for data and efficiency.