Cities social participatory ecologies. Citizen designing their cities.
The software industry has taken the leadership in the decisions and development of the paths of our future cities. Because the software industry has not yet found a profitable business model that engages social participatory systems in city design decisions, there is a lack of interdisciplinary expert teams working with them in city design methodologies towards a socially engaged “Eco-city”.
As the tools for understanding and impacting the urban spaces emerge, the way we operate in and on the city is radically transformed: we are creating a new, sociable, networked urban ecology.
A recent example is the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, http://www.ams-amsterdam.com/, which was founded in 2013. The institution works within an environment of interdisciplinary academic experts (from MIT, TU Delft & Wageningen University) and the Amsterdam Town Hall. The Institute also collaborates with a network of private firms that understand the relevance of developing a theoretical discourse around the concept of smart cities.
Fortunately, Amsterdam is not alone and some other cities have already understood the urgent need to study from a new and complex point of view this new situation. Ubiquitous Seoul, Honk Kong Lab, Quito Urban Lab, Santander City Brain, Chicago City Data Department and Philadelphia City Lab are just some of the examples of cities that have had transformation programs implemented and have started to work with the software industry and experts—both from the industry and academia—in the implications of the “science of cities” development.
Anthony Townsend, Research Director of the Technology Horizons Program for the Silicon Valley-based Institute for the Future, http://www.iftf.org, an independent research organization, argues that we should research the intersection of urbanization and ubiquitous computing to be able to establish the basis of the development of our future cities.
An inclusive development method that rises from the citizens must be developed. A bottom-up city idea, from the micro scale to the macro regional scale, from the citizen to the macro intelligent adaptive scale, adaptive intelligent scale that is obtained from the collaborative citizens engagement with their habitat.
Drawing on “complexity science”, social physics, urban economics, transportation theory, regional science, and urban geography we should build a new “city science” citizen and socially based.