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You are here: / Latest updates on Resilience / News Updates on Resilience / Cities of the Future: From Smart Cities to Resilient Cities

It is time to shift our vision of what constitutes cities of the future. Nowadays, cities should focus on integrating resilience into urban planning and development. This can be done via new and smarter technologies. Resilience refers to the adaptability of cities to survive and thrive regardless of shocks and stresses they may face, creating safer, and more sustainable and more resilient cities.

Cities are economic, political, and administrative hubs. They bring together millions of people, businesses, ideas, and foster innovation. Over 50% of the world’s population currently lives in cities, and this urbanisation will only intensify in the coming decades. It is expected that by 2050, around two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, and cities will become ever larger. Increased urbanisation may bring opportunities, but it also brings risks.

Cities will face greater challenges in the upcoming decades due to population growth, climate change, and resource scarcity. They must be able to effectively respond to these challenges, while simultaneously ensuring the well-being of their citizens, economic growth, and sustainability. To be able to meet the challenges of the future, cities have begun focusing on ‘smart strategies’, merging urban infrastructure and digital technology. These ‘smart cities’ rely on the Internet of Things and data analytics to develop solutions to urban problems, increase the efficiency of infrastructure and services, and improve citizens’ quality of life. For instance, sensors can be deployed throughout cities, collecting a variety of data, such as air pollution levels or water levels. Cloud computing allows large quantities of data to be stored, which can then be analysed with data analytics. Consequently, apps can be used to transmit this information to the general public, also allowing feedback. The collected data and feedback should be taken into account for future policies and urban designs that improve the quality of life of citizens. While the development of smart cities is a step in the right direction, it is necessary to go further than that, and to embrace resilience.

From Smart to Resilient: Harnessing Smart Strategies for Resilient Cities

Resilience is defined by the United Nations (UN) as “the ability to resist, absorb and accommodate to the effects of a hazard, in a timely and efficient manner”. Thus, resilient cities are those in which their citizens, businesses, and infrastructures have the capacity to withstand, adapt, and recover in a timely manner from any kind of hazards they face, either planned or unplanned. Resilience strategies do not focus on individual and isolated risks, but rather adopt a comprehensive approach that focuses on all types of risks, from chronic stresses such as unemployment and endemic violence, to acute shocks such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks. They focus on anticipating risks and developing pragmatic and localised solutions that can best manage these risks. In this manner, cities can continue effectively performing their functions in both normal and difficult times. The key aspect to the development of resilience cities is the need to involve local society. Citizens should be included not only in decision-making processes, but their quality of life should be at the centre of all strategies developed.

Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music.

• 2018

Hayley Kiyoko’s ambitious debut is at its best when it’s barbed and confrontational, but the former Disney star is still trying to hone her budding pop star identity.

There’s a lot riding on this. Hayley Kiyoko, the 26-year-old former Disney star, is one of pop’s few openly gay female artists, whose fans have taken to calling her “lesbian Jesus.” It’s tongue in cheek, but speaks to the hunger for representation among marginalized fandoms—the hoards who flocked to Kiyoko’s early music videos, which offered rare representations of relationships and flirtations between women. Kiyoko now has to balance their interests against her own budding pop star identity, plus the demands of the mainstream that she (and label Empire/Atlantic) evidently want her to break into: Expectations seems like a particularly loaded title.

For her part, Kiyoko seems ambitious. The album comes with a kind of conceptual architecture: opening with the “Expectations (Overture),” and containing a pair of two-part song suites, plus an interlude called “xx.” The sound of the sea and distant birds sometimes color the edges of the songs, giving a rough sense of a contained world, but not much more than that. It doesn’t seem like a leap of faith to guess that the elegant storytelling of Melodrama was an inspiration here, though Expectations doesn’t really use its structure for neat narrative or stylistic tricks in the way that Lorde did.

For one thing, it lacks that kind of songwriting consistency. The obsessive “Wanna Be Missed” has the breathy luster of a forgotten cut off the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, although Kiyoko’s ecstatic crescendo lands with a thud on the blankly intoned line, “I’ve never felt nothing like that,” as if waking up from dental anesthesia. “Let It Be,” the song that closes the album, and puts a lid on the tempestuous relationship that courses throughout, is as stompy of feet and jingly of bell as the Lumineers. “Palm Dreams,” a cheap postcard to Los Angeles life, sounds oddly dated and features a refrain (“Party with us”) that sounds swept from Justin Timberlake ’s cutting-room floor. It’s the only song here featuring anything close to a blue-chip songwriter, in “ Boom Clap ” co-writer Fredrik Berger, which may indict the resources and priority levels afforded to this album.

Those are the most disparate parts of a truly enjoyable if rarely remarkable record, one that lacks the budget of high-end pop but aspires to its trappings. Kiyoko isn’t yet a particularly distinctive vocalist, but “confrontational” is a mode that really suits her. Single “Curious” has a similarly choreographed shuffle in its chorus to Dua Lipa ’s “New Rules,” and contains a few pin-sharp barbs worthy of Lorde: “Did you take him to the pier in Santa Monica?” Kiyoko taunts at a girl who’s dropped her for a dude. “Forget to bring your jacket/Wrap up in him ‘cause you wanted to?” Plus it has a perfectly turned kiss-off: “I’m just curious,” she sings, with icy mocking: “Is it serious?” (That and a textbook pop pause pre-chorus: one of those brilliant, tiny spaces that feels like taking a breath before a giant leap.)

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