James Steidl

When you think about tomorrow, what forces do you think are going to change the way you do business? This article details the way that urban design is going to change in the short term and some of it may surprise you.

Cities are, and always have been, an evolving organism. However, today’s social, environmental, and technological forces are making the evolution more volatile and uncertain. Income inequality is skewing the demographics of cities and suburbs. Climate change is sounding the alarm for more resilient design. Silicon Valley is disrupting, for lack of a better word, everything. As Co.Design looks back on architecture and urban design headlines from 2017, these seven themes emerged and will augur the future of our built environments.

Algorithms shape everything from medicine and media to elections and policing. They are also changing how we understand and design cities.

Over at MIT, researchers are using artificial intelligence to debunk or reinforce urbanism theories on topics like what causes urban revitalization. Startups like the New York-based company Topos are using AI to analyze data about cities and gain a deeper knowledge about their characteristics and composition. These new analytic tools will hopefully lead to a more thorough understanding of cities–and enable better design solutions.

Architects are already experimenting with the new possibilities that AI has opened up, creating everything from mind-bogglingly complex structures to bespoke prefab houses to more diverse suburban tract housing.

Self-driving cars have dominated the technology conversation this past year. Automakers and auto-related companies large and small are racing to develop new products in this experimental category, and sell us on their benefits, like less congestion, less pollution, and faster transportation.

Read More