As you read this, architects are working hard to improve city infrastructures, making them more efficient than ever before. But how exactly are they accomplishing such grand feats of design revolution?
With a world population expected to exceed the 50-million mark by 2050, today’s architects have to design for right now as well as for the future. New socially-based technologies are in the works to address problems like overcrowding and resource allocation.
To give you a better understanding of how this is being accomplished, here are four considerations architects are taking when designing more efficient city infrastructure.
Sustainability and Revitalization
One of the biggest trends to take hold of the architectural world in the past 20 years is that of sustainability. Many cities, such as Hamburg, Germany, are making efforts to recycle more waste than they are actually putting out. If some older type of infrastructure (like, say, New York’s outdated, ghostly railways) is falling into disrepair, architects can revitalize that space for public use.
Neighborhoods that have fallen into disrepair and economic disparity can be revitalized as well through the introduction of public spaces like libraries. And these public spaces function more like community gathering points than just having one central focus (like renting books).
Challenging Climate Change Through Data Systems
Architects are trying to come up with ways to combat the effects of climate change. About 38 percent of all CO2-related energy emissions comes from construction projects and buildings. When we do need to build buildings, how do we do so efficiently?
There are building management systems, like Digital Twin Software and other programs, that are able to track data and keep up with real-time performance on construction. They can create virtual replicas of structures and utilize technology to predict potential eventual outcomes. How much water will be consumed within an infrastructure? Which resources are being utilized at a high rate? Knowing the data and being able to make informed predictions can create a more sustainable infrastructure and help combat climate change.
Utilizing New Materials
Architects have to consider which materials will work best, not just for holding a structure together but in terms of how they impact the environment. Instead of ravaging forests and beaches, architects are looking to renewable or CO2-absorbing materials. They are also looking at materials that can be crafted from recycled plastic. 3D printing has allowed architects to devise new materials and see just how effectively they can be put to use.
Studying Human Behavior
Architects aren’t psychologists, but they sure know a thing or two about human social behavior. Our cities of the future will be data-driven, which means that right now, we need to study human behavior and how it is – and will – impact cities.
Which cities will expand? And how rapidly? How can the forthcoming infrastructural demands be met in a way that smooths out potential overcrowding? Having this knowledge on hand in a concise-but-robust system means that architects can make our cities smarter and more efficient for years to come. Architects might be the answer to many of our urban problems. While technology is ever-evolving, there are systems in place right now that can study human behavior as well as current infrastructures and help architects make sound decisions on how, when, where, and why improvements can be made. They are the ‘who’ in this massive equation.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.