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Framework published to guide cities

Words: Laura Edgar
Smart city / Shutterstock

The Urban Technology Framework has identified 12 current trends that will shape hubs and help developers and architects to deliver future cities.

In the framework, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) arranges the 12 trends into the three themes they claim will transform cities – digital technologies, urban land factors and business models.

The organisation says these must be considered in every future plan to consider how they will affect communities, institutions, buildings and the public realm.

Key tech trends include 3D printing transforming the way we build, and the Internet of Things (IoT) progressing smart buildings from stationary structures to machines. ULI says digitalisation will transform business models, causing the existing sharing economy to extend further – to houses, cars and clothes.

Digital technologies, the ULI explains, will transform the way people interact with and in cities, while urban land factors create the context that digital technologies need to work in. These can be people, organisations, scale of development and stage of design.

ULI says property developers and architects have the opportunity to integrate technologies in design to respond to changes in the way people work or travel.

Ed Parham, co-chair of the ULI UK Tech Forum and associate at Space Syntax, said: “The ULI Urban Technology Framework illustrates how technology intersects with our urban areas and aims to provide a platform to understand how we shape our cities. From economic opportunities to social benefits, there are ever-increasing possibilities for tech advancements and with our framework, urban professionals can better understand how digital technologies could improve our cities and create value for the people that are part of them.”

The Urban Technology Framework can be found here on the ULI website (pdf).

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