Author(s): Carlo Ratti
Since cities emerged ten thousand years ago, they have become one of the most impressive artifacts of humanity. But their evolution has been anything but linear-cities have gone through moments of radical change, turning points that redefine their very essence. In this book, a renowned architect and urban planner who studies the intersection of cities and technology argues that we are in such a moment. The authors explain some of the forces behind urban change and offer new visions of the many possibilities for tomorrow's city. Pervasive digital systems that layer our cities are transforming urban life. The authors provide a front-row seat to this change. Their work at the MIT Senseable City Laboratory allows experimentation and implementation of a variety of urban initiatives and concepts, from assistive condition-monitoring bicycles to trash with embedded tracking sensors, from mobility to energy, from participation to production. They call for a new approach to envisioning cities: futurecraft, a symbiotic development of urban ideas by designers and the public. With such participation, we can collectively imagine, examine, choose, and shape the most desirable future of our cities.
"This is different. And it is brilliant. Ratti and Claudel give us a distinctive path to think through technical futures, far removed from the typical exaggerated versions of the present. They start with a fact: we are all enmeshed in distributed sensing ecosystems, and the more complex and intractable those systems, the more technical innovations we can think up. Thus the messy city, not the perfect lab, is ground zero."-Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, author of Expulsions -- Saskia Sassen "Ratti and Claudel provide remarkable insights into the city of tomorrow. A book that everyone who is interested in the future-and that is all of us-should explore."-Michael Batty, University College London -- Michael Batty "A call to arms on the need to harness the power of both designers and citizens to create our cities of tomorrow."-Metropolis Metropolis
Carlo Ratti is an engineer, urban planner, and architect who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the Senseable City Laboratory, which investigates the intersection of technology and urban spaces. Matthew Claudel is a writer and researcher at the Senseable City Lab.