This article applies a perspective derived from Zen philosophy to issues of life and innovation within cities. Two major, holistic realms of urban existence are identified—the socio-economic and the ecological. These two spheres do not always coexist in a state of mutually sustainable balance and urban well-being.
A city without traffic jams seems like a far-fetched dream that most people would not even believe in. Many would say the same about air pollution as well since breathing in clean and fresh air in the cities is something that most have not really experienced. Well, you might be surprised, but big data could be the solution to all of these problems that modern cities face.
Cities have long attempted to bring the rural into the urban, whether the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or Singapore’s new Gardens by the Bay, but urban agriculture is increasing with green roofs and other forms of urban farming as the population of cities continues to expand. Based largely on the theories of Dickson Despommier, architects have been designing the ultimate in city-based agribusiness, vertical farms inside of high rise buildings which some have dubbed plantscrapers.
Population pressure and environmental concerns are pushing cities around the world to embrace the concept of green roofs. As climate change distorts natural systems, the environmental, economic and aesthetic benefits of green roofs are set to create a new norm in city management.
Congestion is a growing problem in towns, cities and on motorways the world over as the number of cars continues to increase. Two, currently separate but potentially converging developments, namely seriously smart driverless cars and shared ownership schemes, could reduce car ownership and congestion, while still ensuring – even extending –mobility and independence.