Cities Aren’t Running Like Computers

“Today we tend to think about cities like running computers; we have a solution, we scale it up, we create a start-up, then we think about conquering the world. Whereas somehow the city that exists, or the city in general, is a bit more complex than that.”

Nicolas Buchoud is an entrepreneur and co-owner of Renaissance URBaiNe, the strategic urban advisory agency focusing on the management of complex urban systems i.e. energy transition, sustainability, innovation, city governance, and smarter metropolitan strategies. He recently published “The Smart Cities We Need Manifest (2016)” a roadmap to bring about a more practical and diverse approach to cities at local and global levels. Listen to his lecture and learn more about the approach how the Grand Paris Alliance, an urban think-tank that Buchoud co-founded in 2011, envisions the metropolitan future of today’s networked cities and societies.

He is broadening our understanding of how we see the global urbanization processes and the phenomenon of metropolis. He is one of the city pioneers raising our minds and spirits to think over what ‘the city’ is all about, and what it might be like in the future. At reSITE 2017: In/visible City conference, he brought up the issue that the line between what is visible/invisible is blurring in our globalized, urbanized world. The digital technologies are incrementally transforming the cities; yet at the same time people and institutions might not be well equipped to keep up with the change. And, it is becoming growingly difficult for city practitioners to suggest a practical approach at the global level. On the one hand, societal and political issues are becoming more and more complex, and on the other hand, somehow, current city making practices are becoming rather “simple or even simplistic” says Buchoud. So it is time to look urban issues from a broader perspective, to become aware of what is really happening in cities, to take active role in change, and to ‘get smarter’.

(c) reSITE 2017

reSITE is an international nonprofit platform based in Prague. We work at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, politics, culture, and economics. We act as a catalyst for social action and innovative leadership.

We encourage an exchange of ideas about making cities more livable, competitive and resilient. We protect and promote public space, architecture, and sustainable development in cities.

Why? To stimulate action for sustainable urban design and therefore better cities. We stand for public space.