REAL CORP 2018: Expanding Cities – Diminishing Space

4-6 April 2018, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria,
23rd International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society

Are “Smart Cities” the solution or part of the problem of continuous urbanisation around the globe?

The world’s total population is expected to hit the 10 billion point in the 2060s, more than 70 % living in urban areas. Cities are not only growing in population, but are expanding in area. Even with constant number of inhabitants there is a demand for more space. As a consequence cities also grow into 3rd dimension: “up into the sky” and “going underground”. Many cities kind of expand in time, become “cities that never sleep”, extending their urban activities to 24 hours per day all the year round – 24/365. Even in countries and regions with constant or declining population numbers, it is still the cities that attract people.

While the “hunger” in the literal sense for food and resources is growing, the “spaces in between”, especially agricultural land, but also natural retreats and buffer zones are diminishing. These aspects of city expansion do not only lead to massive changes all over the world, they also arise multiple challenges, chances and risks which have to be dealt with in planning processes.

Smart urban technologies promise a contribution to the solution of multiple challenges we are facing in cities. However, these technologies are a precondition for the management and also for the growth of bigger and bigger urban agglomerations. Is this development sustainable? How resilient are huge urban systems based on highly complex technology?

An essential aspect is to overcome “disciplinary approaches” and having a holistic view of the city – an approach that urban planners claim to have been using forever. With all the technology in focus of course the goals of sustainability and resilience remain as important as they have always been. Cities are mainly about people and not about technology, so it is still “quality of life” that should be in focus.

REAL CORP 2018 is going to show the current state of the art as well as to present projects and approaches for the use of future technology.

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