Urban Systems Design
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Urban Systems Design

Creating Sustainable Smart Cities in the Internet of Things Era

Yoshiki Yamagata, Perry P. J. Yang, Yoshiki Yamagata, Perry P. J. Yang

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eBook - ePub

Urban Systems Design

Creating Sustainable Smart Cities in the Internet of Things Era

Yoshiki Yamagata, Perry P. J. Yang, Yoshiki Yamagata, Perry P. J. Yang

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About This Book

Urban Systems Design: Creating Sustainable Smart Cities in the Internet of Things Era shows how to design, model and monitor smart communities using a distinctive IoT-based urban systems approach. Focusing on the essential dimensions that constitute smart communities energy, transport, urban form, and human comfort, this helpful guide explores how IoT-based sharing platforms can achieve greater community health and well-being based on relationship building, trust, and resilience. Uncovering the achievements of the most recent research on the potential of IoT and big data, this book shows how to identify, structure, measure and monitor multi-dimensional urban sustainability standards and progress.

This thorough book demonstrates how to select a project, which technologies are most cost-effective, and their cost-benefit considerations. The book also illustrates the financial, institutional, policy and technological needs for the successful transition to smart cities, and concludes by discussing both the conventional and innovative regulatory instruments needed for a fast and smooth transition to smart, sustainable communities.

  • Provides operational case studies and best practices from cities throughout Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, and Africa, providing instructive examples of the social, environmental, and economic aspects of "smartification"
  • Reviews assessment and urban sustainability certification systems such as LEED, BREEAM, and CASBEE, examining how each addresses smart technologies criteria
  • Examines existing technologies for efficient energy management, including HEMS, BEMS, energy harvesting, electric vehicles, smart grids, and more

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Chapter 1

Urban systems design

shaping smart cities by integrating urban design and systems science

Perry P.J. Yang 1 , and Yoshiki Yamagata 2 1 School of City and Regional Planning and School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, United States 2 Center for global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Abstract

This introductory chapter defines urban systems design as a novel approach to shaping smart cities by integrating urban design, system science, and digital technologies. The question of what new urban form would emerge from the smart cities movement is discussed. Propositions of the space of flow and cities of flows as new spatial logics of organizing cities are reviewed, under the impacts of the information and communication from 1990s to the Internet of Things (IoT) from 2010s. It introduces the intellectual legacy of urban design and system science and elaborates their theories that are facing new challenges of urban technological innovations such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, urban automation, and IoT. This chapter concludes with four possible models of urban systems design: urban sensing systems as a human interactive model, data-driven urban design as a normative model, urban metabolism as a functional model, and Geodesign as a procedure model.

Keywords

Cities as flows; Systems science; Urban design; Urban metabolism; Urban systems design

1.1. Cities as flows: emerging new urban forms driven by smart city movement

1.1.1. Theories for smart cities

Smart cities are becoming a new global movement that uses technologies to drive urban development. Test beds are sprouting up in cities and their strategic areas like Sidewalk Toronto, smart city-nation initiative in Singapore, Energizing Kowloon East in Hong Kong, Pingshan in Shenzhen, and Kashiwanoha in Tokyo. What are potential impacts of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), urban automation, Internet of Things (IoT), pervasive computing, and data science to cities, urban infrastructures, public spaces, and our daily life spaces for live, work, and play? Are there any fundamental changes in organizational principles behind how cities function? What impacts will new technologies create on how humans perceive, design, construct, manipulate, operate, and use cities, urban spaces, and physical environments? What new urban forms would emerge from the smart city movement around the globe?
In 1989, a theory the space of flow was proposed in the book The Informational City by Manuel Castells who argued that information and communication technologies would fundamentally change the concept of urban space, moving away from the “space of place” to the “space of flow” (Castells, 1989), a theory appeared a few years before Yahoo and Google started their Internet web browsers. In human civilization, people tend to construct their life in reference to places, by their homes, neighborhoods, towns, and cities. A space of place, or a place-based society, is defined as a locale, in which form, function, and meaning are self-contained within a boundary of territorial contiguity that is grounded on history, culture, and identity. A new mode of spatial organization or a new way of organizing urban form called “space of flow” was arising due to the impacts of information technologies on cities. The space of flow, a counterproposition to the space of place, is “the material arrangements that allow for simultaneously social practices.” It is neither a purely electronic space nor a cyberspace. The space of flow is a new form of spatial organization of power and a form of domination, which can escape the control of any locale. As a consequence, the space of place is becoming fragmented, localized, and increasingly powerless (Castells, 1989).
The proposition of the space of flow was insightful in addressing a new logic behind urban changes: a rising network society that avoids historical and cultural linkages and disarticulates the place-based society. As Castells remarked, “People live in places, power rules through flows” (Castells, 1989, 1996; Fig. 1.1). However, it was not clear how the new logic of the space of flow changes modern urban form. What are new social and technological conditions behind the transformation of contemporary urban spaces and everyday life that operates both physically and digitally? People live in places that are run by flows or capital, energy, resources, and ecology, particularly by the flow of information.
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Figure 1.1 Emerging urban skylines of Shanghai Pudong business district (background) and disappearing Linong local neighborhoods as a space of place (foreground), photo taken in 2004 by the first author.
The information and communication technologies also change the way we understand cities. Technologies enable researchers to think of the nondigital aspect of cities digitally, by using computer simulation and modeling, geographic information system (GIS), and building information modeling (BIM) to visualize, model, design, and manage physical urban environment from large-scale urban to small-scale building systems. Cities are now far more designable than ever before due to our capability to digitize, analyze, design, manipulate, and predict the outcomes of building and infrastructural systems, and to a certain extent the urban systems by making changes of them. Of course, social objectives, policy mechanisms, and economic development continue to be the main driving forces behind urban forms and their transformation through design and development.
What is the most profound among all of the changes is perhaps the new form of cities that is embedded with informational and communication technologies, a new digital dimension added to the entire concept of city that goes beyond the Euclidean urban space. The city itself is turning into a constellation of million and million computers. Cities are becoming computable and automated at every level of their operation (Batty, 1997). Personal wearable devices, mobile technologies, sensing systems, IoT, and pervasive computing are defining new form of cities. Digital, computing, and sensing systems constitute a new kind of infrastructure that is changing not only how cities function but also how cities are perceived, understood, interpreted and defined. One of the most inspiring questions is how the city of bits emerges (Mitchell, 1995), what new urban form is to be reorganized, reconfigured, and redesigned to meet new demand of cities and urban spaces in the informational age. Cities are becoming more interactive and situation-driven and have to be more responsive, adaptable, and resilient to future conditions due to unpredictable shocks of climate changes.
When the new information technologies arose in the context of 1990s, the question about how low-income communities and places are impacted by information technologies also brought in reflections on social equity, particularly on how digital divide occurs and affects people's accessibility to information and resources (Schön et al., 1999). The question continues to be critical in the context of 2010s–2020s when big data analytics, IoT, and urban computation are swiftly and pervasively changing the world's urban landscapes. Who controls the data and how data can be accessed and turned into analytics for potential applications are critical to defining smart city models of our time. Cities should not be designed as an automatic machine that is based on top-down control, a lesson we learned from system theory in 1950s. The latest wave of digital technologies, the age of smart city as Batty defined, increasingly enable individuals to engage with one another, to compute and communicate from the bottom up, while becoming instant global citizens with virtual immediate access to the world's resources of data and information (Batty, 2017).
The smart city is therefore about placemaking, where the new form of city and urban space is to be designed. Can emerging technologies enable good planning that is always driven by social, institutional, and physical contexts? How do new technologies, particularly IoT and data science, engage urban problems that are normally contextual, which is arguably unresolvable by “general principles” or “general prescriptions” that are derived from data science, city science, or urban science? How are emerging technologies contextualized for placemaking? These questions are to be addressed in actual practices and experiments of urban systems design for smart cities and communities.
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Left: Informational City (Castells, 1989); Right: City of Bits (Mitchell, 1995).

1.1.2. Cities as flows: an emerging new urban form

What are the urban design strategies for the shaping of new urban form that can adapt to changes due to the impacts of digital, sensing, and information technologies? Given that urban and architectural spaces are now both connected globally and grounded locally, the predetermined top-down approach of form making is to be replaced by a more bottom-up approach to address urban spaces that are networked from local to global scales and changed in near real-time through data flows. A more fluid, flexible, and adaptable design approach that explores emerging properties of urban systems from a bottom-up process would be needed.
Among those theoretical propositions and discourses, Batty's editorial on “cities as flows, cities of flows” in Environment and Planning B in 2011 is the one that is most inspiring. Emerging science of cities in the past decade revolves around the idea that our focus should no longer be on location, but on interactions and connections on networks and processes that define flows between places and spaces. The question of how cities function goes beyond the perspective of geographic location. Cities accommodate flows of energy, material, water, transportation, human movement, and information that operate in systems and networks of some kinds. However, the theories of flows and network tend to be treated narrowly. There was limited research on network morphology for flows and methods for handling ways in which interactions related to locations has barely emerged (Batty and Cheshire, 2011). In this chapter on urban systems design, the physical dim...

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