Maria Aiolova, assoc. aia
co-founder, terreform one
An architect, educator, and urban designer who holds 18 technology patents, Aiolova co-founded Terreform One, a design research nonprofit in Brooklyn, N.Y. The group looks to technology, design, and synthetic biology to develop sustainable,
localized solutions for transportation, infrastructure, waste treatment, food, water, energy, and other concerns.
vice president, aecom
Bachmann manages the master planning for Visakhapatnam, India—one of 100 such plans that the country has in the works. Vizag , as the effort is known, aims to create a sustainable smart city in a coastal region that is already home to 4 million residents, employing data-driven strategies that can be overlaid on existing infrastructure rather than building from the ground up.
principal and creative director, Alison Brooks Architects
London-based Brooks uses cultural research to inform community-centric design. She believes that single-use buildings are a thing of the past, and advocates for architecture that can serve a variety of roles. For her Audi Urban Future Initiative research, Brooks explored the intersection of densification of cities and ride-sharing using connected devices.
Dominique Davison, aia
draw architecture + urban design Kansas City, Mo.–based Davison is a classically trained cellist, punk bass player, and architect who leads a team that employs data visualization, processing, and analysis to improve understanding of cities’ environmental impact. That research became PlanIT Impact, a startup that aims to increase planners’ ability to realize net-zero cities. The company’s software analyzes the impact that energy, water, and transportation have on building performance.
Jan Gehl, hon. faia
co-founder and senior adviser, gehl Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the revered architect and urban planner helped transform that city into one that prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists, and public space. A critic of the current concept of smart cities, he has expressed concern that the strategies employed will not improve resident quality of life.
Margaret Newman, faia
As a principal in Arup’s New York office, Newman’s focus is on urban design, public space, and multimodal network development. Her prior experience as chief of staff to Janette Sadik-Khan at the New York City Department of Transportation
and as executive director of the Municipal Art Society of New York have informed her focus on creating sustainable, integrated urban design that promotes economic growth, resiliency, and diversity.
principal, wzmh architects
Radewych is a principal at Toronto-based WZMH Architects. The firm’s development of an Intelligent Structural Panel, with plug-and-play infrastructure that allows wireless control of building systems made it the first architecture firm to participate in
Microsoft’s global Internet of Things Insider Labs accelerator.
director, mit senseable city lab
Also the founder of Turin, Italy–based practice Carlo Ratti Associati, Ratti is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the director of MIT’s Senseable Cities Lab, which investigates how layering technology and data on urban
environments can create what it terms a “real-time city.”
Adrian Smith, faia, and Gordon Gill, faia
founding partners, adrian smith + gordon gill architecture
In addition to designing Masdar Headquarters outside Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates—which targeted being the
world’s first energy-positive building—the duo’s Chicago-based practice has used smart city strategies in further master
planning projects, such as the 28-building Astana Expo City 2017 complex in the Kazakhstan capital.
Ben van Berkel, hon. faia
founder and principal architect,
unstudio, unsense studio
Van Berkel is the founder and principal architect of Amsterdam-based architecture firm, UNStudio. It’s offshoot, UNSense—
launched in March 2018—explores integrative for the built environment to improve the efficiency of cities, and the quality of life of their residents. The independent startup/innovation platform focuses primarily on sensor-based technologies for cities, individual buildings, and interiors “in order to humanize architecture,” according to the firm.
James von Klemperer, faia
president and design principal,
kohn penderson fox associates (kpf)
Von Klemperer led the team that created the master plan for New Songdo City, a 1,500-acre development in Incheon, South Korea, which combines classic urban amenities such as a 100-acre park with innovations such as a pneumatic waste collection system. The firm’s KPF Urban Interface uses data analytics to inform future city design.
founder, urban planning for the american city
In addition to leading initiatives such as the Detroit Future City plan, Griffin is an urban planning professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. There, she founded the Just City Lab, which promotes integrating social justice into the planning of future cities. “We’re also interested in the distribution of non-material goods, such as power, rights, and decision-making. You have to think about representation, and accountability, empowerment, and trust,” she told CityLab last summer. “And those are … not something you can sit at your desk and get quantitative data on. These [things] have to be measured qualitatively, which means using the experience of people on the ground as data points.” The lab’s Just City Index weighs planning against 12 resident-centric tenets, such as resiliency, democracy, and mobility.
Rem Koolhaas, hon. faia co-founder, oma
The Dutch architect has been a vocal
critic of smart cities, notably in his 2014
presentation at the Brussels Smart City
conference. “We are fed cute icons of urban
life, integrated with harmless devices,
cohering into pleasant diagrams in which
citizens and business are surrounded
by more and more circles of service that
create bubbles of control. Why do smart
cities offer only improvement? Where is the
possibility of transgression?”
A designer and filmmaker based in London,
Matsuda explores the effects of augmented
reality on the average citizen. In his 2016
film, Hyper-Reality, Matsuda presents
a futuristic city where individuals utilize
virtual interactive interfaces to engage with
the physical environment.
Smart City Gold Rush
Given trillion-dollar projections for the
smart city market, it should come as no
surprise that the world’s largest tech
companies see it as a major growth
opportunity. Legacy players such as
AT&T and Honeywell are in competition
with giant upstarts such as Amazon
and Alibaba, offering a host of products,
systems, and services to governments,
utilities, and other potential clients. Market
research firm Compass Intelligence’s
A-List in Smart Cities Index ranks the top
companies in the space, those that provide
solutions for “energy, transportation, real
estate, management systems, device
connectivity, data capture, video analytics,
lighting, public safety, public health, crisis
management, and automation.”
The New Gold Rush
Given trillion-dollar projections for the smart city market, it should come as no surprise that the world’s largest tech companies see it as a major growth opportunity. Legacy players such as AT&T and Honeywell are in competition with giant upstarts such as Amazon and Alibaba, offering a host of products, systems, and services to governments, utilities, and other potential clients. Market research firm Compass Intelligence’s A-List in Smart Cities Index ranks the top companies in the space, those that provide solutions for “energy, transportation, real estate, management systems, device connectivity, data capture, video analytics, lighting, public safety, public health, crisis management, and automation.”
1. General Electric
5. Amazon (AWS)
15. Schneider Electric
16. Siemens AG
21. Johnson Controls
25. Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile)
35. Tencent Holdings
36. ST Engineering
38. Alstom (by GE)
3 architects discuss who talk about “Smart Cities”
Paul Doherty is a registered architect,
the chairman and CEO of the international
company The Digit Group (TDG), an
honorary senior fellow of the Design Futures
Council, and a fellow of the International
Facility Management Association. His past
ventures include Revit Technology and
Buzzsaw (both purchased by Autodesk),
and TRIRIGA (purchased by IBM). TDG is
currently involved in numerous smart city
plans and real estate developments around
Debra Lam is the managing director of
Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation for
Georgia Tech, and founder of the Georgia
Smart Communities Challenge. Previously,
she served as Pittsburgh’s first chief of
innovation and performance, where she
crafted the city’s landmark strategic plan,
the “Pittsburgh Roadmap for Inclusive
Innovation,” and she was a policy and urban
sustainability associate and senior consultant
at Arup. She sits on the MetroLab Network
and Neighborhood Nexus boards.
Anthony Townsend is the founder of
Bits and Atoms, a smart cities strategy
consultancy and planning studio, based
in New York, that works with industry,
government, and philanthropy on economic
development, digital placemaking, and
technology forecasting. He is also the author
of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers
and the Quest for a New Utopia (W.W.
Norton & Co., 2013). In 2001, he co-founded
NYCwireless, a pioneer in the community and
municipal wireless movement.