Cities are changing constantly. All urban systems face different conditions from day to day. Even when averaged regularities can be found, urban systems will be more efficient if they can adapt to changes at the same speeds at which these occur. Technology can assist humans in achieving this adaptation. Inspired by cybernetics, we propose a description of cities as adaptive systems. We identify three main components: information, algorithms, and agents, which we illustrate with current and future examples. The implications of adaptive cities are manifold, with direct impacts on mobility, sustainability, resilience, governance, and society. Still, the potential of adaptive cities will not depend so much on technology as on how we use it.
Adaptive Cities: A Cybernetic Perspective on Urban Systems
Carlos Gershenson, Paolo Santi, Carlo Ratti