Friendly Cities

TU1204 People friendly cities

Cities are the future. In 2008, the percentage of people living in urban areas surpassed those living rural communities. Not surprisingly, cities elicit ever-greater attention from government, researchers, and industry. Many of the initiatives focus upon the efficient use of resources and carbon reduction in response to climate change such as Europe 2020 and the European Covenant of Mayors commitment to energy efficiency. The focus upon smarter and more efficient cities is important, but incomplete. It is important that cities be sustainable and pleasant to live within. This Action co-ordinate a trans-disciplinary network of experts and non-experts that investigate the alignment of the hardware and software of a city with user needs to promote well-being, good health, and a sustainable use of resources, within an evolving people-centred consultation framework for economic, cultural, and political development.

Work on these lines is been carried out in the Academy of Urbanism and Universal Design Challenges (see the video here).

Ideally, the initiative should attract researchers with diverse backgrounds so that it may become possible for technologists to work together with designers, urban planners, architects, social scientists, journalists and political scientists. In view of such vision, some European cities agreed to serve as Living Labs, among them Aarhus, Dublin, Glasgow and Lucca.