Shortly before the explosion of a global crisis generated by the COVID-19, in the well-known "2020 Consumers Electronics Show" (CES), Akio Toyoda, C.E.O. of the automotive giant Toyota, unveiled his plans to build the "City of the Future" near the mystical Mount Fuji, in an area of approximately 70 hectares, in a factory due for closure. The initiative is called "Woven City" in … [Read more...] about Cities of the Future: Between Dreams and Nightmares about Ideal Urban Planning
It may seem nonsensical to reflect calmly when COVID-19 is winning a race that will redefine our future. We are surprised by its arrival, despite the continuous warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) about influenza and its possible mutations. In the past, pandemics have confronted us with sneaky enemies who, at the cost of substantial human losses and severe … [Read more...] about The sneaky enemies: the novel coronavirus and old pandemics
In a roundtable on the most pressing challenges for our cities, a colleague challenged us with the following question: “Do you believe that cities can buy their sustainability?” Between stunned looks and expressions of disbelief, we could not reach a conclusion. The truth is that, as Latin America is one of the most urbanized regions of the world, every decision taken by a … [Read more...] about Smarter and More Sustainable Cities in Latin America? We Must Learn to Buy Better
In most cities, there is a strong tension between the preservation of cultural heritage – in its multiple forms – and the pressure to renovate neglected city areas for the sake of economic development, especially for tourism. Nowadays, these tensions often appear as dichotomies, where the past confronts the future and history is in opposition to modernity. This is how the “odd … [Read more...] about An Odd Couple: Cultural Heritage and Urban Sustainability
Imagine for a moment Hamlet trying to elucidate the urban dilemma of the future. Of course, with the deepest respect for Shakespeare. Our Danish prince would no longer hold in one of his hands a skull, but a brand-new cell phone. Thoughtful, he would envisage that the balanced development of cities, and perhaps of the planet, depends heavily on the transformation of cities into … [Read more...] about To be or not to be “Smart Cities”: Is that the Question?