As economic and environmental clouds begin to form on the global horizon, the risks of an under-investment in physical infrastructure need to be taken more seriously than ever and the failure to do so now, could have significant consequences further down the line. With road, rail and other public works increasingly feeling the strain of chronic funding shortages across the board, this is exactly the situation the US may find itself in over the coming years.
The science of complexity and the way in which individual elements, processes and interactions come together, play perhaps the most crucial role in explaining not only how cities function, but also how they evolve and grow organically over time.
In understanding the way in which these complex systems form and play out in the urban environment, it’s possible to gain insight into the advanced dynamics that operate within the city space.
Do the places people visit tell a deeper and more accurate story of urban inequality that goes beyond the reach of the usual metrics we associate with neighbourhood demographics? Using the power of big data and spatial analytics, this is the question researchers are now beginning to answer.
As participation, smart technology, big data and urban design collide, does the resulting (and emerging) concept of citizen design science finally lead us to a true realisation of a democratised urban planning and design experience for all, or will age-old challenges continue to form inevitable barriers to progress in the search for the people-centered city?