What if, in the future, facial recognition technologies went into general use in our towns and buildings? In China where this is already happening, the increasing use of such technology in both public and private spaces raises the spectre of mass surveillance and the risk of new attacks on privacy. While the number of experiments is increasing around the world and certain American towns are already taking the lead in preventing its use, the debate is beginning to take shape in Europe.
Tuesday December 1st, 2020
Will the city of the future run on hydrogen?
Hydrogen has been put forth as a critical “green” energy solution in the next decades. Between public and personal transport, power production and storage, the innovations are proliferating around the world to make hydrogen a central part of our daily lives.
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How do we do more with less? Modern cities are faced with numerous challenges. They need to emit less carbon and halt urban spread into natural areas, while also having enough space to live in social harmony and in line with shifting trends (reconstituted families, telework, etc.). With these contradictory demands—acquiring more space with less sprawl—time becomes an unexpected resource. Some spaces in our buildings are used only for certain times of the day, week or year. For example, educational facilities are generally used around 20% of the time, while offices are used between 30% and 45% of the time. This means they can be used more, by finding new users and new ways to use them. Let’s look at a few concrete examples.
Originally developed in finance, blockchain is a technological innovation filled with promise that arouses the interest of many players in various sectors. And especially the construction industry! Focus on the blockchain in the sector of construction.
In February 2021, we surveyed 1,000 young people aged 15 to 25 about their relationship with the city. The responses, collected by Jam via the JAM chatbot on Messenger, are packed with findings!
What if tomorrow, our living spaces were designed to precisely match our needs based on the best possible layout—one created by a computer?
Since 2013, China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), also referred to as the New Silk Road, has been building a network to connect China with the rest of the world, with railways, highways, ports, airports, industrial areas, data centres and telecommunication networks. As part of this strategy, China has been financing and building infrastructures in a number of third-world countries in Asia, as well as Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. Is this New Silk Road about to change the world? Will it be open to everyone or under Chinese control? Is there a place for Europe? Below we consider three fictional and highly distinct scenarios in order to explore various possible futures, some frightening, some fascinating.
From Hyperloop to drone taxis, spectacular technological transport projects are flourishing. But what about the reality of future public transport for everyday life after the Covid crisis?
What if, tomorrow, we grew algae on building façades to produce food supplements, fuel and a number of other things? In France and in Germany, life-size experiments are yielding interesting results.
What if tomorrow we lived in cities that floated on the sea? It’s an idea that is gaining ground through a UN-supported initiative. But is it a maritime pipe dream?