One of the most critical changes that define our relationship with technology is the role that machine intelligence will play within urban societies. That intelligence promises to contribute to social structures as well as to efficient, sustainable societies. But it also influences forms of mobility, how we distribute goods, and how we produce food. And would it actually be nicer, where living together is concerned? The question is: how do we shape services that can be used by everyone in a city, and what impact does that have on social structures?
These questions inspire the research efforts of the Cities of Things field lab, which is part of the multi-year Creative Embassy Amsterdam-Munich program. The Creative Industry top sector has been working for several years on the formation of a Dutch-German community. The first field lab is set to start on October 11 in Munich with the signing of a declaration of intent by the municipalities of Amsterdam and Munich (by alderman Everhardt from Amsterdam and referent Baumgartner from Munich), along with with various other German and Dutch partners. This sets the stage for a roadmap for this cross-border field lab program with German and Dutch partners.
Future concepts of urban life
Together they are exploring future concepts for urban life in order to see which solutions would be different in a Munich context compared to an Amsterdam one. Consider the question of what the legal status of an autonomous delivery service is. Will it ever come to that? That is definitely what some people think.
Questions are fine, but answers must be thought up together. If parties in Amsterdam and Munich do this collaboratively, it means that solutions could be found that could also work for other European cities.
“Neighborhood hub” for a variety of futures
There are several levels: the city infrastructure, the level of the resident, and the policy level. A “neighborhood hub” in a suburb could become a junction point for a variety of features, from food to parcel collection to a solution for ‘ the last mile delivery.’ Because, after all, how many delivery drivers drive down a single street in a day? Surely this can be done differently. It could be coordinated. And aspects concerning efficiency and responsibility could be looked into. The discussion in the first workshop in the City of Things field lab, to be held in Munich on the afternoon of October 11, also reveals something about the impact of future developments. Various parties are busy working on this, from providers of mobility solutions to financial institutions and from logistics companies to energy providers and the housing sector. And above all, the residents of a neighborhood themselves.
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