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What skills will we need to live in future smart cities?

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Living in cities

Guest post by Dr Theo Tryfonas and Dr Tom Crick.

View of Shanghai at night (credit: Dhi/CC BY 2.0)
Cities like Shanghai are becoming smart cities, but what skills will people need to live there?

Today, the idea that data can play a key role in the design and management of cities is widely recognised. Architects, planners and engineers are already considering how data can improve the planning and operational aspects of cities. However, we believe it’s now time to consider the skills that people will need to live in these smart cities.

The increasing digitisation of information, coupled with the impact of innovations such as the Internet of Things, will have a profound effect on all aspects of city life. This will include anything, from transport planning and energy use reduction, to care provision and assisted living. But it will also include new ways of social innovation, new ways of organising communities, and increased access to political processes. So, familiarity, if not proficiency, in 'digital era' skills will be an essential part of future citizenship.

This doesn’t only mean people should have the necessary digital consumption skills to help them make full use of emerging technologies. They should also have digital creation skills such as design, technology awareness, computational thinking and programming skills, as well as a risk-informed perception of data privacy and security. The challenges of delivering such a skillset are many, from designing a 21st century curriculum for schools and universities, to ensuring fair access to digital technology for everyone.

We believe that taking the time to consider these skills issues now is just as important as resolving the design and operational issues of the emerging technologies themselves.

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Featured image by Dhi. Used under Creative Commons.

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  1. Comment by Dave posted on

    This is a nice article about cities. Learned a lot from it, especially on design and management. I've been researching on a lot of ideas on cities and this one is a great addition to the points I'll write on my essay. This one is helpful, too:

  2. Comment by Ifrim posted on

    Is an evidence that the future can be predicted. Is a talent, skill and competence of professional people, which want to design, manage and implement new economic - social systems through actual systems. The life go away. This is a progress, real way to performance, security, civilization ... to high quality of life. This understandable mega-trend show us the way,
    Is an evidence that the world will be different like today: other systems, other relationship, other communities, other people - citizens, other skills, ... other high performances, other opportunities An other world into an infinity space as distances as time And potential of humanity is infinite. Fortunately, the creativity is infinite, without limits

    If history, we known, the present we live, the future will be our principal scope, target ... and our activity. We are not only in blue ocean, we are in itense blue sky