Learning to Learn – Chris Bell
The Spring 2019 Urban Design Colloquium: Questions of Civility takes as its overarching theme the notion of “civility” – considering civic topics from a variety of standpoints. This session falls under the subtheme “Civilizing Data: Considering the ‘Smart’ City.”
Through the advent of smart technologies and the “Internet of things,” urban designers are facing an increasingly technological future that promises to remake cities. “Big data” (and “little data”) can be harnessed so as to tune physical environments in responsive, resilient and adaptive manners — optimizing urban resources such that they become available where they are most needed.
These technologies hold the promise of creating civic environments that offer more convenience, efficiencies (lowering costs) and mass-customization. At the same time, an increasingly mediated technological urbanism poses issues surrounding privacy, data-ownership and the risk that “self-curated” and “optimized” urban settings may lead to civic “echo-chambers:” undermining the creation of shared civility fostered through our day-to-day civic encounters with others. How might the use of data be “civilized” so as to protect our citizenry?
In an effort to better understand the balance between the benefits and the risks that new technologies offer, urban designer Chris Bell, a senior associate with DLR Group, will present “Learning to Learn,” which considers his experiences working on smart cities in Asia as well as other work in Africa.
Bell’s visit is cosponsored by the urban design graduate program and the Des Moines and Seattle offices of DLR Group.