Growing cities and building resilience: Technology

Smart infrastructure can help us manage our resources, improve mobility, and enhance life for citizens. But actual uptake of smart technologies has been slow. Can the UK lead the world in terms of use of technology to create more liveable and sustainable cities?

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Technology and the evolving city

Transport is far from the only sector in which emergent technology will play a role. 'Smart cities’ will use new technologies to gather and analyse information about transport, energy and water management, using data to tackle key demand issues.

And the ‘Internet of Things’ - networks of physical objects, devices, vehicles, buildings embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity – is already making vast amounts of new data available.

It is also changing the way people engage with their physical environment, informing the ways they use and move through their cities, as well as how they interact with those making infrastructure decisions on their behalf. Wearable technologies, public access to open data sets, and collaborative data gathering projects change the role of the citizen from subject to active participant.

As new technologies are increasingly integrated into our physical environment, creating ‘Big Data’, we must grapple with how to capture, analyse, store, transfer, use, and protect this information. And consider what this means for our infrastructure choices in the future.

Wearable technologies, public access to open data sets, and collaborative data gathering projects change the role of the citizen from subject to active participant.


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What are the challenges?

Our Urbanisation green paper identified a number of key questions that must be resolved in order if we are to successfully use the potential that technology can deliver to our cities.

  • How can technology be used to help balance resource demands, optimise transport and mobility, and provide more opportunity and a better quality of life for citizens?
  • What should a smart city look like?
  • Can the UK lead the world in terms of use of technology to make cities more liveable and more sustainable?

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30 June 2016

ICE's Flooding Conference provides a forum for all infrastructure professionals engaged with flood risk management to listen, learn, discuss and plan for the future.

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What do the experts think?

To stimulate debate on these questions, ICE has canvassed a range of built environment experts and curated a number of resources to help inform your thinking. To find out more about these opinions, simply click on a resource below.

It is vital that we receive your input, and this will be used to shape our future outputs and ICE's answers to these challenges.

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Join the debate

Do you agree with the experts? How do you think technology will change our urban spaces? What needs to be done to ensure our infrastructure is prepared for incoming smart technologies? Let us know in the comments section below!

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