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Warning: Identikit Cities Ahead!

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richheap
richheap  
12/10/2012 11:43:14 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: summed up nicely
You're absolutely right: citizens should definitely be in that list. The city has to work for those people so the suggestion that they need to be included as well is spot on.

In my defence, I couldn't see any mention of them in that list in the original report. But I'm still a bit annoyed that I didn't highlight that in my post!

Ps. I've just spotted my user rank has changed to 'burgher'. What's that? Can anyone enlighten me? You lose points if you refer to Wikipedia.

tbulone
tbulone  
12/9/2012 3:07:27 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: summed up nicely
Richard you bring up a number of good points.  Putting in technology is not the goal, but rather the means to get to some goal.  Technology is a tool like a hammer or screwdriver, and should be used to further a city's goals and vision.  It should work within the framework of the city's vision for its citizens, not frame the city's vision.  The history and culture of the city should be respected and enhanced by the addition of new technology, not overshadowed or overpowered by it.

You've brought up a good point about cities putting in pricey technology because "every other city is doing it".  However, I've often seen the other side of the spectrum, where a city/agency/corporation tries too hard to be the "pioneer" in some particular area, with costly results.  Sure, it sounds great to be part of some pioneering effort, but oftentimes when the risk of failure is fairly high it's better to wait and be the settler.  The cyber landscape is littered with tech pioneers that got behind ideas that were far too risky and never caught on, wasting precious time and resources.

I like that you've mentioned the public sector, businesses, and academics should work together to help the city build on its strengths, but I think a citizens group needs to get involved in the process as well.  I believe a citizens group will provide valuable feedback into what will and won't work for the city.  After all, the citizens are the primary stakeholders in any project undertaken by the city's leaders, and ultimately decide whether a project is a success or failure.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/7/2012 6:23:24 PM
User Rank Staff
New cities
Hi Rich. Thanks, as always, for a thought-provoking post. I do think this is a concern, especially for new cities that are being developed globally, particularly if they're being developed at the hands and investments of big companies: Places like New Songdo and Masdar City, I think, are at risk of being tech clones of one another. Actually what we may see in this next period of city building is a time where culture doesn't define a place, but corporations do.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
12/7/2012 6:20:49 AM
User Rank Blogger
summed up nicely
Hi Simon, I think you have summed up my rambling into one sentence, thanks!!

CitySolver
CitySolver  
12/7/2012 6:19:55 AM
User Rank Blogger
agree with this
Great article. Yeah, cities can't do everything. Urban Design cannot make a city sing and dance but it can work with what is there and improve it. Each city should have its own identity. I hate the idea of economics always weighing in on wellbeing debates, as you say its not always an accurate indicator of happiness or wellbeing at all. Lets see more cities confident enough to build as they see fit, not how 'you are supposed to do it beacause thats how they did it in London or Tokyo etc'. Growth is only smart if its original thought and not merely copying other cities. Thanks.

Simon Hersom
Simon Hersom  
12/7/2012 6:15:41 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
I so agree
"I don't want Oxford to be like London. That's what London is there for"  hits the nail on the head.

 

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