Introducing our research partners: Future City Foundation

Curious about why The Future City Foundation is one of our research partners? Keep reading and you will find our in the blog-post they have written for this project portal!

  • Future City: how is the city changing because of technology and digitization?

“This spring I visited Paris for a few days. At some point, I received an WhatsApp-message from one of my children: “what have you done to Nôtre Dame?”. The world knew that the cathedral was on fire before the Parisians did. The strange thing is that this did not surprise me anymore. I am used to the fact that, in recent decades, the concepts of time and place have taken on a completely different meaning. I would like to know what that meaning is. And that is the question that we are working on at the Future City Foundation. We investigate how technology and digitization are changing the way we live, and what that means for our cities and towns.  

This change has an impact comparable to the rollout of electricity, and it occurs at an unprecedent speed. This situation offers great opportunities to solve the increasingly complex challenges in our cities and villages in a new way, to make the city more sustainable and, ultimately, to keep it livable.

But, if we want to see technological progress, we must make decisions about how technology influences our living environment. Sound political choices about new public values. Sensible choices about which technology we use. Thoughtful design choices about the layout of our cities and villages.

The Future City Foundation is the first smart city network in the Netherlands that focuses on the demands and questions of the city. A haven for municipalities and other organizations to develop and experiment with their own solutions. We look for answers by connecting urban planners and technology professionals. The Future City is an initiative of companies and governmental organizations that want to exchange knowledge, thoughts, ideas and solutions among technology professionals, administrators and urban planners. We organize events where these groups get in touch with each other. These events revolve around relevant social challenges, and we let the groups to come up with solutions together.

And that is also the reason why we participate in the project “Designing for controversies in responsible smart cities”: we want to understand how technology changes our way of thinking and living and we think this research will answer that question. How is it possible that I started to find it normal that I am always connected? How does that change my life? And the city where I live in?”