Designing Smart Cities

Literature Review:
Norbert Streitz, Smart Future Initiative, Frankfurt am Main
(Source: Mensch & Computer 2012, Oldenbourg Verlag, München, 2012)

In order to successfully develop a “Humane Smart City” where people can develop and make use of their creative potential Streitz identifies two key areas: One is the objects (Gegenstandsbereich) – developing from single objects to rooms to buildings into urban context. Enhanced through informationtechnology (ambient intelligence) those things become “smart”. The other one is usage (Anwendungsbereich) – going from individual use to groups to communities where private and business purposes merge. Technology is the enabler for this progress but should always be in harmony with the wishes and possibilities / abilities of the users / people.

Digitalization of content will leave the virtual world and be integrated into real environment. This augmented reality offers new ways of interaction and is basis for the so called Smart Hybrid Cities. Consequently the traditional computer will disappear – the “role” is taken over by objects surrounding the user, e.g. smart furniture or cooperative buildings. “Cooperative building” react to the needs of the users but are also tools to communicate with the environment. A transformation from information design to experience design is the consequence that is challenge and chance for new products and innovationstrategies. Key for success is acceptance. Users need the confidence that digitization and automatization is to their benefit and only with data relevant and allowed by the user (Furcht vor entmündigender Automatisierung). Therefore the user – or in case of smart city the citizen – is far more in the center of development than ever before. In order to achieve a user-oriented solution inter- and transdisciplinary development is a new challenge. IT specialists, engineers, psychologists and designers are already sort of used to collaborate – but the circle needs to be extended to architects, city planners, infrastructure specialists, economists and sociologists alongside with the extension of objects and usages involved.

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