A standing ovation for urban innovation

Urban concentration and (re)densification

Urban concentration and (re)densification of housing are issues that innovation learns to address. Co-development, tests, lightweight solutions, technologies accompany the best ideas.

Green architecture

Maintaining the attractiveness of villages, managing the growth of metropolitan areas, rethinking living conditions, this is the daily challenge for elected municipal officials and their technicians. Innovation actors play a decisive role in this. They will be asked to design, propose, and implement a future rich in opportunities that take into account what already exists. In a world of networks and real-time, collective spaces and uses are born and still evolve in an analogical way through a discussion in which the technology is only the substrate.

 

Basic needs

The image of the tribe gathered around a fire can make you smile. In a world where leisure and work, private life and street sports are intertwined, urban lighting, billboards and access to others are still the pillars of the harmonious link between inhabitants, passers-by, nomads, architecture, and traffic. Their failure is directly and durably anxiety-provoking. How can we imagine building new uses, positive proximity for a neighborhood or a square without backing them up with a source of trust? Innovation requires clear signs, well-defined totems that mark, without excessive intrusion, the will of a community to control its evolution by achieving objectives and needs as fundamental as safety, energy savings, or beautification.

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Rooting innovation

The territories of the major metropolitan areas have taken up the encouragement to innovate promoted by the European Union. The smart city is taking shape. It combines networks, their users, and free technical solutions to enrich the daily experience of the population. Innovation experts see the silhouette of streetlights as distinct anchor points for new systems: point power supply for battery chargers, audio accident detectors, relays for low-frequency radio networks of connected objects (IoT), visual signals, adaptive lighting, etc. Open specifications such as that of the "humble lampost" working group describe innovation perspectives that can be applied to all scales, whether urban or rural.

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Those who dare will be right

Innovation can remain a beautiful objective, a declaration of intent. It can also be materialized by example. A demonstrator, a "smart street," a first step aside, and it is a new way of advancing the shared space that is taking shape. It is the magic of lightweight, autonomous, configurable solutions to be superimposed without conflict on the existing system. Richard Buckminster Fuller said, "To change something, build a new model that will make the old one useless. Who would dare to bet on a single, uniform technology that would claim to correspond to our future? No one else. The quick, opportunistic assembly of components and ideas builds better, faster, and often more durable responses at lower costs. Innovation is a mix, a renewable reaction.

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