EXPO REAL: 'Smart neighbourhoods are not just about technology'

So-called 'smart neighbourhoods' are not just about technology; also key to creating connected communities is cooperation and collaboration between local authorities, businesses and residents, according to urban planning experts at EXPO REAL event, ‘The Future of Urban planning’.

Gerd Krohn, a new work visionary of SmartVillage in Munich, Germany, told attendees that to create smart neighbourhoods ‘you don’t need to build new spaces, but to open up existing spaces for all the digital nomads that don’t need to travel every day for work’.

Kees Verschoor, urban planning strategy in Utrecht - the fastest growing city in the Netherlands - told the audience that when the city polled residents about the most important element of the city, the responses were resoundingly in favour of creating healthy urban spaces.

When the city had to renew its bus stops they came up with the idea of creating bee-friendly bus stops, to improve the health of the city and its inhabitants and nurture wildlife too.

Marc Wagener said the cities which succeed will be those that attract the best residents.

‘There are so many technological developments and opportunities, but when we talk about the cities of the future we need to put the human being at the centre of the solution,' he said. 'Let’s not be driven by the technology, but let’s drive the technology,’ Marc said.

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