The smart city is walkable

Rethinking the reversed reality of the city

CreativeCommons drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Drawing of a hiker, standing in nature, looking at a reversed city
It’s time to reverse the city back into context

One of the largest challenges ahead is how to put the growing cities back into the landscapes, making them a natural part of nature. Hiking trails is a unique way of doing this and our technology might soon be so advanced that we don’t need to surround ourselves with an ever growing amount of cars, offices and clumsy machinery to connect and thrive anymore

One of the things you learn on long distance hiking trails is how little you need of machinery to thrive… You can do just fine without a dishwasher, tumble dryer, wide screen TV, Vacuum cleaner, electrical toilet brush, microwave… this and 15 pair of shoes

But hiking is also changing, as more and more hikers connect to digital spaces online, while hiking. Spaces that we can use to keep updated and connected to our network of friends, no matter how far away from the cities and each other we are. Maybe these virtual places can, in strange ways, give everybody the freedom to walk away from the reversed reality in the artificial steel and concrete cocoons of industrial city architecture.

Connecting the smart city to nature

Could it be that we are at the edge of creating a new city, architectural and dwelling logic, that combine new use of technology with new shared understandings? And that these new understandings can work as pathways to reconnect better, both to each other and to nature – and that hikers are already doing this?

Maybe this is not even a new understanding at all, but an ancient understanding… the nomadic understanding of doing more with less, of walking together, while dwelling on a path of stories, relationships and connections.

Putting the cities back into context

How well you can walk in and out of a city and how good, safe and healthy this walk feels, is a very good indicator for how well a city is to live and be in. And this logic also work the other way around so when you reverse the cities back to be better and more exciting to walk in, and connect them better to the landscapes around them, you create better, healthier and smarter cities for all.

Free texted version of the drawing (no changes please) 🙂





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