A recent study from MIT suggests the likelihood of face-to-face interactions within a city means more productivity. It seems to apply equally to companies and even data, which suggests engineers and architects of all types should take notice.
Companies such as Inrix are making their money helping commuters and commercial drivers find the fastest routes through traffic, but their reach could go much further. Creative organizations can apply the data in entirely new areas, and crowdsourcing means seeing how the world moves.
South Bend, Ind., is using a sensor network and IBM software to prevent its sewer system from dumping sewage into rivers or backing up into citizens’ home, but it’s just a microcosm of global trend toward solving urban maladies using big data.
According to physicist Geoffrey West, the world’s cities have what one might call a growing problem. As they grow bigger, their problems grow worse, which means it takes an ever-faster pace of innovation to keep things in check. Big data techniques might provide the answer.
Rising prices at the pump inevitably prompt a flurry of interest in telecommuting as a short-term solution for commuters’ pain. Should we be thinking longer term, using remote work as a way to restructure our lives to take the sting out of gas prices for good?
The impact of more remote workers on the built environment is a fascinating subtopic of the future of work. Will office spaces shrink? Transport plans change? Now there’s a new question about a world of remote workers – will they all move to the exurbs?