Bhaskar Vira and Eszter Kovacs (Department of Geography and University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute) discuss how lessons learned about water management in Nepal and India can guide how cities can be made "ecologically smart".
Cities exist in a state of constant flux: not always ‘smart’ and successful, they can be vulnerable, chaotic and seem on the edge of failure. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the shanty towns and slums. How can these informal settlements, and the wider city, be helped to succeed?
The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction is building on advances in sensing technology to learn everything possible about a city’s infrastructure – its tunnels, roads, bridges, sewers and power supplies – in order to maintain it and optimise its use for the future.
From wind turbines and solar photovoltaics to grey water recycling and electric vehicles, technology is making it ever easier for us to be green – yet many of us are not. Now, Cambridge researchers are discovering that our personalities and communities have a major impact on our environmental decisions, opening up new ways to ‘nudge’ us into saving energy and carbon.
Why is Milton Keynes one of the most successful cities in the UK, and Dundee one of the least? What gives Leeds its economic edge over Liverpool? How did London survive the 1990s recession, going from boom to bust and boom again? Researchers are asking these questions and many more in the largest ever analysis of what makes cities thrive.
Flash floods, burst riverbanks, overflowing drains, contaminants leaching into waterways: some of the disruptive, damaging and hazardous consequences of having too much rain. But can cities be designed and adapted to live more flexibly with water – to treat it as friend rather than foe?
Today, we commence a month-long focus on the future of cities. To begin, Doug Crawford-Brown, Robert Mair and Koen Steemers describe the challenges our future cities will face and how mitigation depends on the innovations we create and put in place today.
Data from location-based social networks may be able to predict when a neighbourhood will go through the process of gentrification, by identifying areas with high social diversity and high deprivation.