Monday, 10 March 2014

Future Cities – It’s Nearly Time

We’re living in a time of rapid urbanisation, where shifting global demographics (growing in number, age and prosperity as they migrate from rural to urban life styles) are going to have an increasing impact on our activities here in the UK. For London, the population will grow to 9M by 2021 and 10M by 2030. That brings with it considerable pressures – for example, the need for 800K extra house units, capacity for an additional 600K peak-time commuters, and the challenge of dealing with the increased waste and energy consumption.  The Future or Smart City is the collective response to these immense challenges. It is not one thing or one technology, but a proactive approach to managing the urban infrastructure to provide a better level of service and living with less available resources.

It’s just over a week to go until the first of the Geo Big 5 events. This will be the Future Cities conference hosted by AGI Scotland in Glasgow. We’ve got strong delegate numbers and are still getting sponsors joining at this stage. More importantly (to our delegates anyway) we have a great line up of speakers which can be seen here.

Professor Iain Stewart
Highlights from this include a plenary from Professor Iain Stewart, BBC staple and geologies’ ‘rock star’ (Not my pun). In the Future Cities stream we have presentations from the Greater London Authority, the Glasgow Future Cities team and the Institute for Future Cities among others. The case studies stream has some great projects from geospatial in Scotland including the Forestry Commission and the Commonwealth Games (quite appropriate as today is Commonwealth Day). The Future Cities stream also includes a panel debate with some of the day’s speakers and a few special guests.

Anyway with all that in mind I thought I’d give a quick background on Future Cities and why we have picked this as one of our big 5 for 2014.

Andrew Collinge
Andrew Collinge - Greater London Authority
This event, being held in the impressive Glasgow City Chambers, will enable delegates alike to come away with a renewed appreciation of how Geospatial Information and Systems (GIS) can contribute to overcoming the barriers of a City becoming a Future City. To understand a modern city is to understand how its occupants utilise the space over time. However much of the discussion around future solutions to meet the increased and changing demands being placed on a city, are not addressing the inherent geographic nature of the problem. This is perhaps being exacerbated by the GI industry not sufficiently articulating the benefits it can bring. This events aims to provide an awareness to all attendees of the opportunities offered by making GI an integrated part of the Future Cities solution.

It’s going to be a great event and a must attend if you are interested in Future Cities, you can book here. Flights to Glasgow are still pretty cheap and it’s only £49+VAT for members.

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