All posts filed under: Architecture

How to model our future cities?

The novel Frankenstein written by the English author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley describes the creation of a poor wretch. The premise is that a sum of organs could create a human being. Shelley wanted to write the best horror story and she succeeded. “Smart” buildings, “intelligent” transportation systems and “smart” airports are all isolated projects (managed by independent departments) which leverage the use of technology to create new urban value in a city being modernised and often called a “smart city”. Like Frankenstein, the sum of isolated “smart” urban projects creates a so-called “smart city”! A city is not a sum of things. Vibrant cities are a complex system of systems (and not a set of sets) which rely on economic, social and environmental interconnected values with the goal to support urban sustainability. In the history of ideas, Aristotle was probably the first to point out that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Blaise Pascal wrote in Pensées 72, “since everything then is cause and effect, dependent and supporting, mediate and immediate, …