Sunday, September 22, 2013

What if you could design a city?

In my post of September 8, I shared a graphic from the BBC News (Technology) website that showed ideas of what a city of 2050 might look like.

With another article, students can be encouraged to imagine their own ideas for the 'perfect' city. The article, on the same website, poses the question, "What if you could deisgn a city from scratch?" to four experts (and two children).

The four experts are:
  • Guru Banavar, IBM's chief technology officer
  • Steve Lewis, chief executive of Living PlanIT
  • Tom Steinberg, founder of MySociety
  • Carlo Ratti, Senseable Cities Lab, MIT
Each expert explains what they would include in their design, and why.

Students can first brainstorm their answers to this question and make a list of features they would include. Then discuss the various merits, advantages and possible disadvantages of each idea. Afterward, they can compare their ideas with those of the experts questioned.

A different activity would be to print out each expert's answer, and give one to each of four student groups. (Each answer is fairly short, ranging from 220 to 302 words.) After reading and discussing the information, each group presents the idea to the rest of the class. The class could then discuss the merits of each and come to a consensus as to which one they would choose if they were on the City Planning Committee.

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