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urban design implications of the smart city – and the cloud

For any given location in a large city in the developed word there are dozens of data points and feeds in the cloud. Some of these information streams fall under the category of Smart City initiatives: street lights reporting themselves in need of replacement, traffic and weather, parking spaces and EV charging stations available, buses arriving shortly, etc.

As an urban designer and member of the Smart City community, I have been thinking about implications of the IoT for bricks and mortar urban design (refer to the attached). Locally, how will it impact Puget Sound cities like Bellevue; especially with Light Rail implementation afoot? I expect the streetscape will evolve; both roads w dedicated lanes, and sidewalks, to accommodate more ride sharing/ride hailing and charging infrastructure.
Online shopping and autonomous delivery will necessitate building accommodations; loading ports and lockers. Conventional small retail will diminish in the face of online sales. In growing cities like Bellevue the trend will be for smaller dwelling units, to keep housing affordable. As a result there will be greater demand for public amenities and “living rooms” like coffee shops, bars and parks for inhabitants of such small spaces. What other interactions between the cloud and built environment can be expected; for example, how will distributed energy resources transform the grid and urban fabric?

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mission

We develop and market energy efficiency strategies and technologies. We focus on the building and transportation sectors, which account for more than two thirds of the energy budget.

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