From satellite imaging to monitoring air pollution: Arup’s Josef Hargrave discusses cities of the future

A merging of physical spaces and digital environments, tracking people’s movements and geo-location advertising; just some of the predictions that Josef Hargrave, an associate at consulting engineer firm Arup, has made about the future of our cities.

Speaking at The Drum’s Disruption Day event, Hargrave said that as companies are increasingly able to track, monitor and collect data about the urban environment, physical spaces are becoming more like digital environments, which provides opportunities for advertisers.

“We can track where people walk, we can track what people do, we can track what their needs and desires are and so this is leading to massive opportunities for advertisers to utilise that data and deliver new kinds of experiences to people in urban environments.”

Another theme that Hargrave picked out was that the revolution of digital technology in urban environments is happening at all kinds of scales, swing wildly from, “macro scale satellite imagining that allows us to monitor and track the surface of the planet in real time, all the way to the micro scale where small sensors are telling us everything about traffic levels and air pollution levels and how people are acting and experiencing a space at any one time.”

Despite the advancements, Hargrave warned that it is important to recognise that there is “no one single smart city”, due to the extreme diversity in cultural, economic and infrastructure background, “everyone has to find their own way to integrate smart cities into their world” he added.

To hear the full interview watch the video above.

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