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About this book

Cities for Smart Environmental and Energy Futures presents works written by eminent international experts from a variety of disciplines including architecture, engineering and related fields. Due to the ever-increasing focus on sustainable technologies, alternative energy sources, and global social and urban issues, interest in the energy systems for cities of the future has grown in a wealth of disciplines. Some of the special features of this book include new findings on the city of the future from the macro to the micro level. These range from urban sustainability to indoor urbanism, and from strategies for cities and global climate change to material properties. The book is intended for graduate students and researchers active in architecture, engineering, the social and computational sciences, building physics and related fields.

Table of Contents


A Time and a Place for Everything

Office buildings are used as an example of the unsatisfactory relationship between the architect’s role of designing of the physical fabric of workplaces and the subsequent necessity of accommodating emerging – and almost certainly unexpected – patterns of beneficial use over their lifetime. The professionalisation of Facilities Management has so far failed to fill this gap. The concept of the “intelligent building” has further confused the issue because it is based on the unrealistic assumption that automated environmental control mechanisms will have the capacity to anticipate, and respond to, open–ended user expectations and ever changing patterns of occupancy. The very term is an excellent example of a “pathetic fallacy”, the belief that lifeless objects, on their own, can anticipate change. The practical implication of this argument is that the software of space management must become at least as “intelligent” as the design of the hardware of the buildings themselves – perhaps much more so. Space management for many organisations is already transcending isolated, individual buildings and will have to expand through time and space to embrace the accommodation of the totality of ever shifting networks, connecting people, wherever they happen to be, in multiple organisations in many buildings – and places – of many different types.
Frank Duffy

Smart Cities of Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s digital cities will be the product of today’s dreams. The world presently faces numerous challenges, many of which can only be overcome by changing the way we do things. We are now at a turning point and our future will be shaped by the way in which we respond to today’s problems, and how successfully we can move into the digital world.
An important element of these developments lies in the creation of Smart Cities, consisting of cohesive and open telecommunication and software architecture, which will underpin the smart, citizen-centric applications that will abound. These applications will also be applied in areas of national interest and social need, such as e-health, smart energy and e-education. For this occur a trans-sector approach is needed, along with strong government leadership – a more horizontal system of collaboration which combines the knowledge and resources of different sectors.
The building blocks upon which smart cities will be created include smart and renewable energy; next-generation networks; smart buildings; smart transport; and, extremely important, smart government.
Paul Budde

Rethinking Urban Landscapes: Self-Supported Infrastructure, Technology and Territory

The tide of environmental decline is a multilayered dilemma in qualitative architectural research. To some extent, architectural directives have struggled to reverse this environmental decay. That is not to say the desire and aspiration to positively contribute to an ecological society is omitted from the design discourse. In fact just the opposite, an immense consortium, both formal and informal, of architectural thinkers are absolutely devoted to the task of sustainability. For at least this past decade the dominant meta-theme of a majority of architectural research has been the promise of sustainability. Architects have reflexively launched themselves into the center of the environmental polemic as both its source and resolution. This eco-crisis demands robust solutions on a considerable scale to deal with an imminent collapse. At this point, the radicalization of sustainability is widespread. As a principle it is the politicized mainstream agenda for most design procedures. How can you contend against platitudes like; ‘save the planet’? The architectural responses range from fantastical feats of geo-engineering to low-flush toilets, all in service to assuage our fears. It’s vital to concede that sustainability will happen in every shade of green. For if the mission fails, we will not be here to say otherwise. Therefore, we must shift beyond sustainability alone and its associative rhetoric. What are the latest comprehensive models within design research that can expedite a greener and grander shift? We need to prepare the next generation of innovators to be self-reliant in a world that requires regeneration. We also need to expand a discourse that continues an arc of humanitarian and technological assertions after sustainability is achieved.
Mitchell Joachim, Melanie Fessel

Invincible Cities for the Materiomic Age

Making novel buildings from novel materials equals a reenginering of the medium of architecture itself – a design optimisation of an entire creative field. The resulting schemes have less to do with high modernism than with synthetic biology.
The built environment is facing unprecedented opportunities brought about by recent scientific advances that open the laboratory doors to a future of material experimentation. In this chapter, the authors argue that humanity is on its way out of the Concrete Age, perhaps even out of the subsequent Timber Age, and moving rapidly towards the Materiomic Age.
The emergent field of materiomics is defined as the holistic study of material systems. Using this paradigm as a starting point, three speculative cities are presented, based on an architectural reading of Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel Le città invisibili.
Positioned within a post-sustainable and post-hylomorphic model, the cities diverge completely in structural, programmatic, and architectural terms, and yet share a unique energy expressed through the audacious material attitude in which they have been steeped.
Advances within consilient fields such as synthetic biology, molecular chemistry, and bioengineering allow these conjectural urban prototypes to function as reconsiderations of the notion of materiality in architecture and urbanism. Positioned as Deleuzian “actualisations of the virtual,” the Invincible Cities presented here push to a new level the idea that the city is mankind’s greatest invention, through the simple guiding principle of material intelligence.
Magnus Larsson, Alex Kaiser

Qualitative Affects of Building Life Cycle: The Formation of Architectural Matter

Architectural design essentially organises matter as built form. Designers would therefore benefit from taking a more active approach to material formation; where matter is not perceived as inert, but instrumentalised for numerous designed agencies (Stuart-Smith 2011). The incorporation of generative design principles within pragmatic aspects of architectural production and consumption offers an alternative to engineered reductions in architectural expression often promoted for the sake of design efficiencies, and suggests an expansion of the domain that architectural design operates within. The Architectural Association’s Design Research Laboratory (AADRL) has been exploring the design of qualitative architectural affects through the rethinking of building life cycles as a design opportunity. Beyond quantifiable methods of building life cycle analysis, new strategies are emerging that challenge our assumptions about building life cycles; redefining relationships of matter and energy within aspects of architectural production.
Robert Stuart-Smith

Other Cities

Modern society is confronted today with three critical challenges; the depletion of fossil fuels demanded by society to function at the current level of operation; climate change, which is understood to be progressively eroding the essential requirements of biological and ecological equilibrium necessary to support human existence and population growth, which presents unprecedented social, logistical and spatial challenges; most patently expressed in the increasing demands placed on the inhabitation of cities and the impact of this phenomenon on the broader environment. It is evident that these issues must be addressed in order to maintain the sustainable advancement of society. Contemporary cities, or imagined cities or those cities outside of our conventional scope represent a critical field for investigation. Cities are fields within which innovative design practice can engage with the pressing environmental and social issues confronting modern society. We find ourselves at a significant moment, one at which design practice might reevaluate its pedagogical foundation and investigate alternative forms of practice. New forms and modes of practice are capable of cultural production that through models and strategies that embrace social and environmental challenges can be effectively deployed in the reconceptualisation of cities.
Mark Raymond

Urban Parangolé

The Syncretic City
In the last century, rapid urbanization throughout São Paulo’s greater metropolitan region has resulted in a population of nearly 20 million. While this makes São Paulo one of the most vibrant cities in South America, it also creates a condition in which established mobility infrastructure is no longer effective. Asymmetrical urbanization has also perpetuated marginalization and the development of informal settlements. As a result, São Paulo is experiencing both physical and social immobility. In order to address these complex conditions, it is necessary to expand the definition of sustainability beyond environmental concerns to include both economic and social sustainability. Urban Parangolé generates a framework for this comprehensive approach – a framework that allows conflicting urban forces to engage in a productive coexistence without a homogenizing effect. Integrated mobility infrastructure can serve as the interface for this renewed interaction. Using São Paulo as a testing ground, Urban Parangolé fills a dual role. It is a set of innovative mobility strategies that also serves as a framework in which to insert ecological, social, and economic viability into the city. Urban challenges are no longer seen as inevitable symptoms of growing cities, but as a formative basis for alternative and sustainable urban models.
Lindsey Sherman, Michael Contento, Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner

High Performance Buildings: Measures, Complexity, and Current Trends

Most people are intimately involved with the built environment, while unfamiliar with detailed aspects of its design and operation. Buildings are everywhere and are designed and equipped using an agglomeration of many different design elements or puzzle pieces. With the recent trends towards a more energy efficient world, there has been an attempt to make buildings more efficient by using highly efficient pieces of the design puzzle. Not always does the integration of these subsystems result in an efficient building as a whole. The goal of this chapter is to highlight some of these boundaries and current engineering trends to surpass these obstacles. The discussion will be focused on large commercial buildings in the United States, while similar concerns are prevalent in other building types and in other global locations. We start by highlighting different ways that performance is measured and review the different design elements and equipment choices that are available to construct a building. The large number of interacting components creates complexity and a challenge to obtain a high performance structure. Specifically, technology barriers to realizing high performance buildings through this integration process lie in the ability to create useful models, data analysis tools, and effective control strategies. The chapter concludes with some current applied research in building systems that address the complexities in building systems and methods being developed to overcome the barriers that lie in the way.
Bryan Eisenhower

Eco-cities: The Role of Networks of Green and Blue Spaces

The chapter analyzes how networks of green and blue spaces are being used in the design of new eco-cities. These projects aim to define a new city typology, create models of sustainable development that would contribute to the resolution of the global need for more urban spaces, increase well-being and decrease ecological footprint. In this regard, green and blue infrastructures are playing fundamental roles in current eco-city design. Initially, the text presents our contemporary urban challenges, the emergence of the idea of the eco-city and the new meanings that networks of green and blue spaces are acquiring. Four recent case studies are analyzed and compared in order to draw conclusions on the significance of these systems of open space in the construction of a theory and practice of eco-city design.
Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira

Decarbonising City Precincts: An Australian Perspective

The need to decarbonise the economy can be greatly assisted if precinct scale city development can be a focus. The new low carbon technology for energy, water and waste are favoured by the precinct scale, especially the use of trigeneration, renewables, recycling wastewater, collecting rain water, waste to energy plants and automated solid waste collection. However, to make this work will require much more attention to the proper frameworks for carbon accounting and acknowledgement of best practice at precinct level. Governance will need to refocus on this smaller scale of delivery as it is not available at the moment. New models are developing that enable low carbon precincts to operate with a degree of independence within a broader centralised utility structure. Australian illustrations, especially from the City of Sydney, are showing that it is a feasible transition though some kind of new carbon credits for urban development need to be created.
Jessica Bunning, Colin Beattie, Vanessa Rauland, Peter Newman

The Rebirth of Distance in the Context of Urban Sustainability

This chapter focuses on the interaction between mobility policies and spatial planning practice, and aims to contribute to a better understanding on this complex relationship. Our focus is on daily travel patterns of people (leaving freight out of the picture). We discuss the importance of spatial proximity related to the oil dependence of an urban system. We find that the debate regarding the promotion of compact development is far from finished, but that our reasoning leads to the conclusion that a further increase of residential density and land use mix in urban areas is perhaps the best guarantee for curbing excessive mobility and preparing for the end of cheap oil.
Kobe Boussauw, Richard Hanley, Frank Witlox

Cities for Smart Environmental and Energy Futures: Urban Heat Island Mitigation Techniques for Sustainable Cities

The most apparent impact of urban development on the environment is the rearrangement of its biophysical attributes. By altering the nature of the surface and generating large amounts of heat, urbanized areas modify the microclimate and air quality. The urban heat island phenomenon, which serves as a trap for atmospheric pollutants, deteriorates the quality of life and has a socio-economic impact in the urbanised areas, has been a research subject at least for the last 100 years.
Mitigation strategies have been proposed to alleviate the negative effects of the summertime urban heat. In particular these strategies take advantage of insights gained from study of the urban energy balance. Specifically, they seek to reduce the solar radiation absorbed by the surface or increase the latent heat flux away from the surface. The physical implementation of these strategies involves use of highly reflective (high albedo) roofing and paving materials, extensive planting of urban vegetation, shading etc. The aim of the present chapter is to provide the necessary knowledge concerning the recent developments in the urban heat mitigation techniques the state of the art as well as the future research prospects.
Konstantina Vasilakopoulou, Denia Kolokotsa, Mattheos Santamouris

Building Conservation Towards a Sustainable Future: Use of GPR

According to the website of Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, 2.7 Million people worldwide, most of them being extremely poor and 1.3 billion of them with no access to electricity, rely on solid fuels such as traditional biomass and coal for cooking and heating. In this world where a number of experts are concentrating their research on finding alternative and environmentally friendly energy sources, masses of existing buildings are being demolished causing energy loss and polluting the environment with demolition waste. These demolitions are justified through the conventional scientific belief introduced by modernity that older buildings are of poor quality.
This chapter aims to look to the debate in regard of the heath loss issues in existing buildings and point out to new research and alternative methodological approaches to provide proof of the current underestimation of the thermal transmissivity of traditionally built walls, the main reason leading to their demolition.
Zeynep Aygen, Gökhan Kılıç

Evaluation of the Shading Efficiency of the Shading Devices Installed in the Tram Stations in Athens

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the shading devices installed in the stations of the Athenian tram, in regard to the shading efficiency they provided during summer months and for the time period from 9:00 to 17:00, which is the time period of the day with the greatest solar intensity. The existing network of stations of the Athenian tram was recorded after conducting in situ visits, where the characteristics of the installed shading devices, such as orientation, dimensions and symmetries, were registered. Based on the registered data, the shading devices were categorized according to their symmetries in four categories and also they were drawn in three dimensional designs in ACAD. For the evaluation of the provided shading efficiency, two methods were used. The first one was based on the Ecotect program, a program analysing bioclimatic behaviour of structures, which in this case provided overshadowing percentages, while the second one was based on a program created specifically for this study in MATLAB source code. The shading efficiency was evaluated per orientation for the two most common types of shading devices (type A and C) and also for all of the existing shading devices installed in the tram stations. The overshadowing percentages of the shading devices are affected by the orientation of their major axis. The orientations providing the higher percentages are on the West – East axis and around it, while on the North – South axis and around it, the percentages become smaller.
Christos Gousis, Ioannis Tzouvadakis

Modeling and Control of Large and Flexible Wind Turbines in Variable Speed Mode

As wind turbines are increased in size and power, flexible structure of wind turbines is becoming increasingly important and cannot be neglected. In this paper a four-mass drive-train model is presented by considering flexible structure modes of wind turbines. Due to the complexity of the four-mass model of the drive train, the focus of this work is on the design of nonlinear variable speed controllers for a reduced-order, two-mass model of the drive train. Both the state feedback controller and the measurement feedback controller (i.e., using the information of rotor speed only but not the torsional angle) are proposed to achieve asymptotic tracking control for prescribed rotor speed reference signals, thus capturing maximum wind power. Simulation results are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control schemes. Generalizations of our control system design methods to larger and flexible wind turbines with high-order drive train models are currently under investigation and will be reported elsewhere.
Wei Lin, Xinghua Liu

Sustainable Design for Campus Residential Housing

Alarmed by continuing natural disasters around the world every industry is adopting sustainable practices to lessen the environmental damage to the planet. Academic institutions are also making efforts to make the campus sustainable and environment-friendly. Along with other academic sectors, campus housing is considered an important element of enhancing the academic experience. Although in recent times campus housing has focused on energy efficiency, recycling and using ‘green’ materials, only a limited number of universities are incorporating the design principles of new urbanism to create mixed-use residential areas for students. Mixed-use developments are focused on increased density, pedestrian-friendly environment, reduced ground cover accompanied by other design principles. This essay considers the advantages of adopting new urbanist principles for residential housing in higher education institutions.
Smita Rakshit, Anthony Filipovitch

House Biographies: Housing Studies on the Smallest Urban Scale

This article discusses ‘house biographies’ as a research approach for analyzing the dynamics of residential buildings’ built and lived space over time. Focusing on the smallest urban unit – the house within its local, historical, social and cultural context - is not only a way of researching the qualities and problems of a specific urban residential setting but can also make a fruitful contribution to a more sustainable planning that considers both technical and social issues. Thinking about future cities requires one to take into account what makes some buildings, including their premises, endure and which factors allow them to be appreciated over a long period. Doing ‘house biographies’ enables one to gain such differentiated knowledge, taking the small scale as a starting point for higher-level thoughts and actions. By placing the emphasis on methodological principles as well as applied research methods, this article provides an insight into the logics and ways of doing a house biography.
Eveline Althaus, Marie Antoinette Glaser

For the Smarter Good of Cities: On Cities, Complexity and Slippages in the Smart City Discourse

The notion of the Smart City describes the city as a system of information and flow, one that, although complex and wayward, can be controlled, manipulated and optimised to increase efficiency in sectors such as transportation infrastructures, health care, etc. This way of thinking takes for granted that there exists something like a common goal of optimisation which would benefit the larger whole of the city and which would make purposeness and meaning come together in the built environment. It thus propagates a rhetoric that echoes modernist visions from the early twentieth century of betterment of culture through technology. What remains to be understood in a cultural-theoretical perspective, however, is what consequences this way of thinking has on the urban cultural level.
This article takes a closer look at the smart city discourse as it is set forward in IBM’s online exhibition site Before Cities Got Smart. Using strategies of close reading and analysis of the visual material presented on this site, the aim is to illuminate how art, technology and advertisement are brought together to account for and promote the Smart City model. What becomes apparent is the problematic way in which the complexity of such environments is dealt with in this discourse. In order to illuminate the deeper urban-cultural significance of the complexities at work in the use of automated technologies in the contemporary city, we turn to French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and his notion of ‘societies of control’ as well as the artworks of the Canadian artist David Rokeby. The artworks approach the implications of smart city technologies in a different and critical way, one that allows for the complexity of these environments to be enhanced rather than glossed over. In this way, we hope to develop a more differentiated cultural-theoretical platform for discussing the Smart City concept and the ideological implications embedded in its use of technology within the context of contemporary urbanism.
Henriette Steiner, Kristin Veel
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