Smart Cities! The global challenges posed by population growth and rapid depletion of resources require serious solutions.
Here's the name of one of these solutions;
One of the most well-known projects in this regard is 'Masdar City'. Construction of the city, built in the middle of the desert, is scheduled to be completed in 2025. The use of gasoline vehicles is prohibited in order to maximize the benefit from cold winds in the city.
These vehicles are replaced by electric cars with special driving techniques and tunnels prepared for them.
Masdar City will consume a quarter of its energy compared to a city of its size (40,000 people and 50,000 vehicles) with its energy efficient applications and insulation systems. All of this energy consumed will be provided from solar fields installed outside the city.
Looks impressive, doesn't it? And everything is as perfect as it looks?
According to leading urban design experts and architects, Masdar City also has many problems.
The Danish architect, co-founder of Bjarke Ingels Group, Bjarke Ingels, expresses his thoughts on Masdar:
"It's a prestige project beyond practicality. It's very difficult to work economically when you get back to real life." Ingels thinks Masdar contains three times as much infrastructure as a normal city, and that under ground streets and expensive vehicles of this size are not very suitable for the urban model.
In fact, the basics are not about Masdar, but about the fact that new cities are seen as solutions. Ingels believes that the cities of the future are what we are already going through, that cities are gradually evolving.
Adam Greenfield, founder of Urbanscale, a New York urban technology company, is one of the supporters of the idea.
Instead of rebuilding smart cities, Greenfield says, we need to help our own cities with the innovations they need to make. "Because only enough resources and budgets can be provided for this," he adds.
Why would we work to build from scratch instead of making what we have smart? Aside from the energy spent building non-roads and buildings, a new smart city takes years to complete.
During this time, we can renew many cities that we have and offer much more efficient opportunities. That's why we use the word 'retroffiting' – 'healing'.
Where can we see examples of solution optimization? The Bristol City Improvement Initiative is some of the examples of New York's High Line Park that gave life to the old railroad.
Well, it looks like we're going to have to do something we will witness the places we live in become smart cities over time.