P. 1
Cities of the Future

Cities of the Future

|Views: 45|Likes:
Publicado porkate_mcelwee

More info:

Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: kate_mcelwee on Sep 08, 2010
Direitos Autorais:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Transitioning to Cities of the Future

Steve Moddemeyer, Principal, CollinsWoerman
Ciities of the Future is a global program of the International Water Association that is highlighting efficient and integrated solutions for the infrastructure challenges of cities. Certainly the need is broad. We know that cities accommodate half the world’s population, yet water security is not assured for billions of people. Pollution limits water supply for potable purposes and is the vector for avoidable disease and death. The cost of traditional infrastructure is priced out of reach for most of the world’s people. Climate change impacts cities with droughts, floods, and sea level rise. The uncertainty of climate change challenges the design reliability of the systems already in place. Cities of the future is exploring a new emerging paradigm that provides a frame for understanding how cities respond to a range of infrastructure needs. Recently, the wrap-up of a Cities of the Future conference in Boston underscored that we are in a time of transition. This transition reflects a new framework for how we think about the services we expect from urban infrastructure: • from water and wastewater systems designed using historical rainfall records to a range of multiple and overlapping techniques that create urban resilience and better accommodate the uncertainty around climate change from a linear approach for water systems where discrete systems are deployed to collect water, treat water, use water, and get rid of water to a more restorative and regenerative approach where integrated systems provide water, energy, and resource recovery linked with land use design, regulation, and community health • from utilities tracking costs alone to utilities evaluating the full value of benefits to the community, economy, and the environment from building prototype projects to redirecting existing flows of capital so that we routinely create this new paradigm, this new normal from a business-as-usual toolkit to an expanded toolkit of options for our water and urban infrastructure that includes the latest high-tech options, the latest low-tech and the latest natural systems strategies, too from institutions and regulations that block innovation to new generations of regulators and government entities that encourage innovation from elected officials accepting the status quo to elected leaders insisting on integrated solutions.

In truth, these transitions are still the exception – not the rule. Most governments and utilities struggle to maintain their current infrastructure systems. They don’t have the expertise or time or resources to study a new way of doing business. And most consulting companies realize that they have to serve the market that exists, not markets that may or may not be on the horizon. Most universities teach the same curriculum they have taught for decades and that match accreditation standards. Most government regulators are satisfied to enforce the laws they already have on the books rather than make changes that might create problems they can’t predict.
w w w. c o l l i n s w o e r m a n . c o m

architecture • Planning • interior design • sustainable develoPment

Yet pioneers exist across this planet. From Stockholm to Singapore, from Seattle to Sau Paulo new projects are being created. China, Korea, Australia and Turkey have national initiatives that are setting the stage for this transition. New projects and technologies and new partners are reaching out to collaborate on behalf of this new idea for urban infrastructure. Planners and architects, regulators and funders, transportation engineers and water experts, mechanical engineers and energy experts are recognizing their role in helping to create a more integrated future. Cities need us. They need us to be part of the solution and to reach out beyond our profession. They need us to create new collaborations, new models, new science and new pathways for a sustainable future. They need us to be smart and wise, visionary and practical. They need us to help them steward their funds and resources in a way that builds their capacity to meet the challenges of our most uncertain future. Cities of the Future is about is creating clear-eyed capacity to think across the boundaries. It is about creating a market for integration where every school district, every government, every private developer and every design professional expects to provide multiple values for every investment of time, money, and energy. It is about adaptive and resilient infrastructure that will help us navigate our way in this most uncertain future.

Steve Moddemeyer is Principal in charge of Sustainable Development with CollinsWoerman; Seattle’s emerging leader in sustainable architecture, design, and planning. Steve is project director for the Cities of the Future program for the International Water Association and previously served as the staff lead for the City of Seattle’s Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative. He can be reached at or smoddemeyer@collinswoerman.com

architecture • Planning • interior design • sustainable develoPment

w w w. c o l l i n s w o e r m a n . c o m

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->