Discuss: How Data and Sensors Will Change the Way We Design Cities

From optimism to dystopia and back again. All in the space of an afternoon.

Smart Cities vs. Urbantech

During the first of six Urbantech sessions with the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) we talked about the future of cities. Morten Skov from the Alexandra Institute opened with a sweeping review of the emergence of Smart City thinking – and ultimately the challenges and opportunities of Urbantech.

What’s the difference between the two?

Whereas Smart City discussions are often about London, Toronto or São Paulo-sized challenges, Urbantech is at the modular level. Finding solutions for short to medium term issues – especially if they can help accelerate the development of sustainable cities.

Profilbillede af Morten Skov Jørgensen

Morten Skov

Morten laid out four principles based on his research:

  1. Focus on the problem to be solved
  2. Gather only the relevant data
  3. Take people into account
  4. One step at a time

Following this the architect Oliver Schulze shared a range of practical, impressive and thought provoking case studies.


Engaging the public

In the audience we had corporate CEOs, heads of Mergers & Acquisitions – as well as high school students and people studying for their postgraduate degrees. A good diverse turnout for an engaging discussion on these topics.


A rich collection of answers were shared – and we’re reviewing all the cards from the tables. Insights from these will inform our thinking about Urbantech.

Big thanks to all who participated.

The next Urbantech Session at DAC is on 14 November 2019. Save the date.

And be sure to follow (and contribute to) the #Urbantech discussion meanwhile (including on LinkedIn).