"REAL CORP 2018 “Expanding Cities – Diminishing Space” tries to answer the question: 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. Questions arise on how to deal with these problems at short notice, and what has to be done to find solutions to these challenges thinking in long-term strategies – the challenges and problems seem huge. At the same time more and more unprecedented (urban) technologies are available to monitor and manage cities. Smart urban technologies promise a contribution to the solution of multiple challenges and can be applied in wide fields, 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."
Please find more information on the conference website.