Technology & space

Technology is part for our culture. In streets we use a lot of technology. Perhaps, technology can make streets high-tech and with that cities smarter. But, at the same time, how do we actually handle “computers that give only answers” and where questions are not always clear. What is nowadays and in the future a street? Why do we need streets for? And, how do we will use streets?
The paradox and dilemmas of new technologies are also applicable to sustainable (urban) environments. Robert Martin unfolded that: “Cities have been sustainable long before now. We just kind of invented technology to make them unsustainable, and now we’re trying to rewrite that with [new] technology and it’s not the right way to do it. I just like that we’re actually able to talk about the need for cultural change and behaviour change.”
Technology and data alone cannot bring us further. Also, Catarina Selada underlined the importance of having a broad and interdisciplinary look on challenges, in the way we live and move in urbanised areas. Not only technology, not only the physical space, but also the behaviour of individuals and groups is important to integrate in new models of urban mobility. She presented a digital platform (AYR) that stimulate “a mindset of transformation, a change in behaviours towards sustainable lifestyles”, as it encourages people to track their own carbon emissions and be rewarded by their low numbers.
Working from within the Swedish government´s innovation agency, Dan Hill presented a more tactical and experimental approach to deal with these technology changes in mobility by prototyping car park lots interventions that permit a scale-up and spreading all across the country. “Car parking is a very small thing! But when you do that to a million spaces it suddenly matters … Very small moves and then try to get the ball rolling.” In a way that is an engineering scope that brings us further, beyond the engineering problem. To clarity the question why making good streets does matter, Dann Hill emphasised that: “Streets are about culture! Arguably nature! But mostly about culture! Within that there is engineering … for sure, we need to understand how water and energy and metrology flows of course. But we don’t make street to make engineering. We make streets to make city! To make culture!”.


return to homepage