Trend Watch May 2023

Australian cities urged to go vertical and multidimensional:

Australian cities should look to Hong Kong as a model for creating more diverse, vibrant and sustainable urban environments, according to a place branding expert.

Tom Oliver Payne, Place Strategy Director at Hoyne, a place branding and property marketing agency, visited Hong Kong in 2023 and was impressed by the city’s vertical landscape. “Hong Kong is a city that defies gravity and logic. It is a city that celebrates verticality and multidimensionality. It is a city that uses every inch of available space to create different layers of activity, such as rooftop gardens, sky bridges, elevated walkways, underground malls and public transport networks,” he said.

He contrasted this with Sydney, Australia, where he lives and works, and where he sees a lack of vertical integration and diversity. He criticised the dominance of single-use towers that separate residential, commercial and retail functions, and the reliance on cars and roads that create congestion and pollution. He also noted the challenges that Sydney faces due to its rapid population growth, limited land supply and environmental pressures.

He proposed that Sydney and other Australian cities should learn from Hong Kong and adopt a more vertical and multidimensional approach to urban planning and design. He suggested that this would create more opportunities for social interaction, cultural expression, economic activity and environmental innovation. He envisioned a city where people can live, work, shop, play and connect in multiple dimensions, without having to travel long distances or compromise on quality of life.

He concluded by saying that verticality and multidimensionality are not just architectural concepts, but also cultural values that reflect a sense of curiosity, creativity and community.

Read more on the Hoyne website.

Photo: denis ng on Unsplash.

Barcelona digital twin visualises 15-minute city:

The Barcelona City Council (BCC) and Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) are collaborating to produce a ‘digital twin tool’ to assist in urban planning, writes Adam Hill of ITS International.

Hill says the web platform will analyse Barcelona’s public facilities and the city’s adherence to the 15-minute city model.

Hill says, “The digital twin project seeks to understand how cities could work better by analysing data, evaluating resources, understanding the accessibility of services, and working with models that simplify the complexity, generating scenarios and visualising multiple variables (or combinations of variables) to help decision making.”

Its initial phase is now complete and shows active travel options, such as a short walk to the metro with stops before and after future L8 and L9 lines. The council and BSB say they will continue to develop this tool with more interrelated data.

For the full article visit ITS International.

Photo: real_ jansen on Unsplash.

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