Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


From smart buildings to smart cities

The cities of the future will be smarter, faster-changing and more adaptable. That was one of the messages from yesterday’s Smart Building Conference at ISE 2018, which takes smart cities as its theme.

Keynote speaker Kevin Flanagan, partner at PLP Architecture – the company that designed The Edge, Deloitte’s new smart building in Amsterdam – explained how smart cities could improve our way of life: “Technology allows us to think beyond the city grid design. We can develop transport systems that take traffic off the road and improve the city’s lungs.

The next big advance will be 5G technology. A blind person will be able to walk throughout a city using 5G.”

Opening speaker Ger Baron, chief technology officer for the City of Amsterdam, revealed that the future is much closer than we think.

“Cities have always adapted and changed,” said Baron. “The digital revolution is not only changing our industries, but also impacting both on the buildings we work and live in, and on our cities.” The biggest developments will be the move from centralised to decentralised systems, and the pace of change, Baron said: “Instead of building train stations that last for 200 years, our buildings will be updated by software. Cities will change much faster.”

Data will drive many changes, and Baron revealed how Amsterdam is now using data from many sources – including social media – to determine the number of visitors to the city. This data could be used to improve transportation or predict when bins need emptying in tourist hotspots. But who will determine all this change – politicians or technologists?

“The government will play a role,” Baron told ISE Daily, “but there will also be other parties. It will be an interesting journey.”