UrbanThinkers Challenge: Innovative ideas for the perfect city of the future

                                                              

UrbanThinkers Challenge: Innovative ideas for the perfect city of the future

Arcadis
Solution proposed by: 
300 Arcadis employees around the world
In a Nutshell: 
To celebrate Urban October, Arcadis held a global challenge and asked its people around the world to share innovative solutions for their city of the future, to create resilient, mobile, and regenerative future cities; tackling the complex challenges facing our world: urbanization, globalization and sustainability. The outcome of the workshops was put together in a book.
Where and When: 
Over a 24-hour period on 28 October 2015, workshops were held in Arcadis office in 13 cities around the world - New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Rotterdam, Berlin, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Sydney, Dubai and Sao Paulo. people from all areas of the business shared ideas, expertise and urban solutions for our future cities.
Challenges: 
The challenge was meant to come up with ideas to create resilient, mobile, and regenerative future cities. The United Nations has adopted 17 new Sustainable Development Goals. One of these goals is focused on the development of sustainable cities and communities. Arcadians all over the world had the chance to share their innovative ideas for the perfect city of the future. How will the next generation live and travel?
Innovation: 
Arcadis expertise is directed at making cities more attractive by providing sustainable urban solutions for challenges in transportation, environment, water supply, urban planning and building design. It seeks to help urban clients in becoming more competitive when attracting investors, developers, residents, tourists and business to an area and is Arcadis’ answer to the rapid global pace of urbanization. This broad expertise was brought together in the 13 workshops around the world.
Concept: 
Further explanation on the 3 themes of the workshops to create innovative ideas for the perfect city of the future: Resilience is the ability of cities and its inhabitants to respond to social, economic and environmental changes and challenges. Climate change is one example, but also the decline in house prices and stock markets. By planning, building and managing cities and buildings in a different, more flexible way, they are more resistant to possible future changes. The theme of Mobility is undoubtedly a topic of great importance as we look at urban needs in today’s cities. The global Shelter Urban Thinkers Challenge generated some inspiring thoughts on how to improve mobility in cities. Regeneration is the process which restores, revitalizes or renews an existing space or function and is important because in the future many of our buildings stock will remain in use. Regeneration should be planned and implemented in a holistic approach ensuring social, environmental and economic issues are factored into regeneration solutions. It is important that local people are supported in large scale masterplans such as these to avoid driving local people and culture out of the area. Despite the focus on cities and urbanization it is important not to ignore rural areas. Focusing all investments on city services and expanding urban areas, will encourage all to live in the city. Regeneration is of vital importance across all cities as we look to develop the cities of tomorrow.
Description: 
The outcome of the workshop included many innovative ideas, including the creation of natural corridors between green zones, urban agriculture towers where food could be grown and the creation of tree lined, fly-overs in the street. A few striking solutions: Floating cities in Singapore Suggestion: to create self sustaining autonomous floating cities, run by themselves, produce their own clean electricity and resources such as food and water. These mega ships will be anchored within Singapore waters and can have low buildings built on it. Thus saving sand and casions for expensive reclamation. Vertical Living This concept focuses on vertical living, making use of living, working and commuting at height. The idea originates from Hong Kong which is a vertical city with apartments and offices and farming all provided in skyscraper buildings. Vertical farms could enable cities to grow food efficiently and sustainably, saving water and energy while reducing emissions, providing healthy food and new employment opportunities. With up to 130,000 per square kilometre Hong Kong is three times denser than New York. Solar pavements These are refabricated concrete slabs with crystalline silicon solar cell which converts sunlight on the road surface into electricity. The Road surface simulates a solar panel and generates renewable electricity for street lighting, traffic systems, households and businesses and Electric vehicles.
Impacts: 
All the ideas outlined in the book will be used as input for the World Urban Campaign. The Campaign is the partners’ platform preparing for the Habitat III conference. The Campaign acts as a global advocacy and partnership platform to promote dialogue, sharing and learning about improving our urban future. In essence, the World Urban Campaign is a key part of the Habitat III process. The Campaign provides organizations, cities and countries the opportunity for discussion and to generate the best results at Habitat III, which will shape the future of our urban spaces in the 21st century. This book will be updated and the workshops will continue during 2016.