Vertical Living: Technology & Transformation in the New Millennium

Mark Thompson
Senior Director
United Technologies Corporation, Hartford

During the 20th century, the great urban centers of the Western World witnessed an unprecedented transformation in the form and density of their built environment. Social, economic, and political forces aligned to create high-density city centers that, over time, have come to symbolize the achievements of the developed world.

In the new millennium, accelerating urbanization within Asia and the Middle East presents a unique opportunity – a chance to reconsider prevailing models of urbanism and city growth. We believe we have an opportunity to reconsider urban design from the past century within the context of ongoing societal and technological change. Among the many challenges facing rapidly growing cities in the region is the need for sustainable and appropriate density as a counterpoint to unmitigated sprawl.

This presentation focuses on the recent past and the potential role of emerging technologies as a catalyst for radical change in the form of our cities. It includes an analysis of Dubai – looking back on a 50-year period, its transformation from a village to a ‘modern city.’ And in the next 50-years, we anticipate exciting possibilities where disruptive technologies, including horizontal and vertical mobility, will radically transform urbanism as we know it. For Dubai and for other cities around the globe, we are confronted with an uncertain future - one where rapidly evolving technologies in data collection and analysis, horizontal and vertical movement, artificial intelligence and instantaneous communication, will make urbanism as we know it, a subject of our history books.

There are many possible futures. This presentation takes a first pass at exploring where we are headed.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation