As emerging technologies converge with urban planning, a revolution of automated, on-demand and ownerless transport beckons. But is the concept of an intelligent city network a deliverable reality, or just sci-fi fantasy?
Yet, according to Siemens senior vice president Steffen Endler, Blade Runner did, if nothing else, correctly anticipate today’s world of rapid urbanisation, rising population, climate change and the birth of the technology-supported smart city.
The way we live our lives is unavoidably set for disruption. “Creating the liveable city takes four components to make it happen effectively,” explains Endler, who heads Siemens’ Digitalization Hub in Singapore. “It takes thoughtful designs and plans, political will and societal support, technology that is fit for purpose, and good governance and collaboration to sustain the plan.”
The recent return of Blade Runner to cinemas provides us with a timely reminder of the world created in the first film, set in the Los Angeles of 2019. In truth, director Ridley Scott’s original vision is now some distance from the aspirations of today’s city planners.