Popola Urbo


- WHAT -

Model city of the future

- WHEN -

Nov - Dec '15

- WHERE - 

Somewhere, Milkyway


As cities continue to grow and densify, the time to postulate on tabular rasa city planning becomes increasingly smaller, and less opportune. The future beholds a city not too dissimilar from the one people know today. The complex systems for sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing, and transportation will not uproot themselves and change overnight. What is more likely is they will slowly evolve as different agencies act to address problems that benefit themselves. The city of the future has the propensity to exist in one of three ways: the autocracy — top down city development; the corporatocracy — over-commercialized, privatization of urban development, lack of social-equity; anarchy — the least likely of the three, decentralized and disorganized, the antithesis of planning. Avoiding this propensity to polarize is to relish in the union of these three agencies —government, corporation, and the people. This union is the future of the city.

The government, the corporations, and the people should have a reciprocal relationship that manifests in a harmonious city. This union must be attuned to constantly changing social, political, environmental, economic, and technological fields and be able to adapt and shift with these changes. Utilizing the government’s organization and structural umbrella, corporate interest in financing public good, and the ability to crowd source need and mass usage patterns from the people results in the people’s city.

THE PUBLIC | The Cloud

The 21st century is a constantly shifting landscape of technology changes and needs. As needs shift and become more diverse and complex, the way the city deals with them must be equally as diverse and responsive.

The future city calls for a participatory process which activates the public as the designer. Building sensors gathering use data, pointillized location data, hyper-local forums and virtual town hall meetings will crowd source urban gaps and needs as identified by the local community. Allowing a diverse city to come together virtually in the cloud and physically in the spaces that the cloud determines, creates a continuously evolving workflow completely restructuring the way a city is planned.

THE GOVERNMENT | The Framework

The government as a planning agency has become out of touch with the needs of city, often projecting with a capitalist mindset, ignoring hyperlocal and citywide needs in search of economic gain. Or worse, hiring consultants who are equally, if not more out of touch with the social and political fabric for which they plan.

However, the government of the future city must provide the structure and framework under which the public is able to operate and effectively plan and create change. The government is both responsible for the maintenance of the sensors and digital forums, but also manages the process, from public idea, to finished installation.


The explosive growth of cities is an economic opportunity with the potential to lift billions out of poverty. Yet the corporate spending and financial inbreeding that is the 1% has taken the growth of cities and turned it into a hotbed of data mining and commercial bombardment, claiming the city’s social fabric.

A city that is reclaimed by the people, is a happy city. A happy city at the hands of corporation, is in their interest. Corporations will fund city interventions for a multitude of reasons, with hidden agendas, and purely for public good.

Full Poster_01.jpg

Full poster for exhibit

Project advised by Rami el Samahy of over,under