The rise of the smart city has already begun, brought about by the rapid development of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, the IoT, autonomous transportation, and new sustainable forms of energy. However, understanding the specific roles the smart city will play in people's lives very much dictates how we build these cities.
This sentiment was shared during Turkey Innovation Week during a presentation led by Canay Atalay. The business and cultural innovation designer outlined to the Innovation Week audience the concept of the smart city asking one big overarching question, "How can we make transportation more efficient, make energy more sustainable, and most importantly, how do we make people's lives easier?"
As mentioned during Atalay's Innovation Week presentation, this generation and the next face a host of global challenges both psychological and tangible. The creation of the conscious smart city may be the key to tackling a host of these challenges.
Building Conscious Cities
Canay Atalay outlined some of the challenges that humans face, painting a picture that is more dystopian that eutopic. Though technology has done a tremendous job at enriching and improving our lives in different ways, that same technology has a tendency to mirror humans, amplifying our consumption culture manifesting habits like fast food, ordering food online, social media, and quick consumable entertainment.
Things like obesity in children and excessive screen time are all causes for concern. The world's population will approach 10 billion by 2050, and that means more people in cities. So how can we build healthier and more sustainable cities?
Canay Atalay proposes using tools like artificial intelligence to capture the data available as well as real-time data to help us make smarter decisions and tackle some of the issues outlined above. However, the future conscious city goes even further creating technology-based in psychology not just in profit, utilizing this powerful combination of psychology and technology to design the flow of cities, how buildings are made and even how cars are designed.
The Conscious Future
As stated by Canay Atalay "Our future will be shaped not only by the target audience but also by the leaders who are partners in ecosystems. As our projects and initiatives increase, we need to address global needs." To get here Canay proposes we center our attention around children. Canay Atalay wants to involve children in our own innovation processes, educating them fully in the issues that they will have to face in their lifetimes.
Teaching our children to be global citizens and how to use the technology available to do so will open the doors to a brighter world, and more conscious cities.