How iPads are Making Cities Smarter and More Sustainable

A new app is providing much-needed resources to urban designers.

Technology has always been at the core of sustainable city design but is now being used as a tool to educate “practitioners, theorists, economists, engineers, artists, policymakers, scientists, and public health specialists.”

Harvard’s Graduate School of Design published Ecological Urbanism, a book that takes a look at “alternative and radical approaches between ecology and architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and urbanism.” The book was then turned into an interactive app to enhance the experience of the reader and ensure that the ever-changing information was always kept up to date:

In 2010, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design published Ecological Urbanism, a book of interdisciplinary essays on sustainable city-building. But the project had one inescapable shortcoming: When you’re dealing with a field that’s evolving so rapidly, a finite, physical book is liable to be outdated by the time it leaves the printer. In fact, it’s more of a likelihood than a liability. So upon completing the collection, the school commissioned Portland-based interactive studio Second Story to transform the book into an iPad app, a resource that would draw from the original text but could also be updated with new projects and papers as needed. Now available for free, the app shows how dynamic areas of study can benefit greatly from equally dynamic texts.

Read An iPad Guide To Building The Perfect Sustainable City on Co.Design.

App creator Second Story adds to the description of this innovative technology:

With the majority of the world’s population expected to live in cities by the year 2050, Ecological Urbanism addresses the expanding practice of sustainable design. A timely evolution of the book, this iPad app visualizes the growing body of discourse surrounding the design and management of cities

Read Harvard Graduate School of Design: Ecological Urbanism App on Second Story.

Watch the video below to learn how the app works, and read more about the creation of smart cities here.

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Dec 13 2012