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Cities of the Future

Cities of the Future

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Published by kate_mcelwee

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: kate_mcelwee on Sep 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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interior design
sustainable develoPment
Transitioning toCities of the Future
Steve Moddemeyer, Principal, CollinsWoerman
Ciities of the Future is a global program of the InternationalWater Association that is highlighting efficient and integratedsolutions for the infrastructure challenges of cities.Certainly the need is broad. We know that cities accommodatehalf the world’s population, yet water security is not assuredfor billions of people. Pollution limits water supply for potablepurposes and is the vector for avoidable disease and death.The cost of traditional infrastructure is priced out of reach formost of the world’s people. Climate change impacts cities withdroughts, floods, and sea level rise. The uncertainty of climatechange challenges the design reliability of the systems alreadyin place.Cities of the future is exploring a new emerging paradigm thatprovides a frame for understanding how cities respond to arange of infrastructure needs. Recently, the wrap-up of a Citiesof the Future conference in Boston underscored that we are ina time of transition. This transition reflects a new framework forhow we think about the services we expect fromurban infrastructure:from water and wastewater systems designed using
historical rainfall records to a range of multiple andoverlapping techniques that create urban resilience andbetter accommodate the uncertainty aroundclimate changefrom a linear approach for water systems where discrete
systems are deployed to collect water, treat water, usewater, and get rid of water to a more restorative andregenerative approach where integrated systems providewater, energy, and resource recovery linked with land usedesign, regulation, and community healthfrom utilities tracking costs alone to utilities evaluating the
full value of benefits to the community, economy, andthe environmentfrom building prototype projects to redirecting existing
flows of capital so that we routinely create this newparadigm, this new normalfrom a business-as-usual toolkit to an expanded toolkit of 
options for our water and urban infrastructure that includesthe latest high-tech options, the latest low-tech and thelatest natural systems strategies, toofrom institutions and regulations that block innovation to
new generations of regulators and government entities thatencourage innovationfrom elected officials accepting the status quo to elected
leaders insisting on integrated solutions.In truth, these transitions are still the exception – not the rule.Most governments and utilities struggle to maintain their currentinfrastructure systems. They don’t have the expertise or timeor resources to study a new way of doing business. And mostconsulting companies realize that they have to serve the marketthat exists, not markets that may or may not be on the horizon.Most universities teach the same curriculum they have taughtfor decades and that match accreditation standards. Mostgovernment regulators are satisfied to enforce the laws theyalready have on the books rather than make changes thatmight create problems they can’t predict.

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