Episode Archive

SCP E242 Measuring the Good Things in Smart Communities, with Lior Steinberg

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have an interesting conversation with Lior Steinberg. Lior is an urban planner currently based in Rotterdam and the co-founder of Humankind City, which is an agency for urban change helping cities, organisations, brands and other change makers tackle the most complex urban challenges. Lior tells us about his multidisciplinary background and how he came to be an urban planner, he talks about his love of technology and finding ways to make life better through technology before discussing the diverse backgrounds he sees in the world of urbanism. 

Lior then discusses what a Smart Community is to him and how the concept of a ’stupid city’ helps him determine, are the cities we live in ‘Smart Cities’, before we talk about how some technology solutions are not always the most efficient and how more communities can incorporate different modes of transport. Lior then tells us about his company and some of the projects they have been working on, we discuss Lior’s smart approach to implementing plans for his clients before discussing the need for communities to identify what is important to them, be able to measure that data and use technology to then improve those communities. 

We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of micromobility and how more communities are adopting these modes of transport and the 5G network with more available sensors. As always we hope you enjoyed listening to this episode, as much as we enjoyed making it! 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Lior’s multidisciplinary background and how he came to be an urban planner
  • His love and fascination of technology and excitement to find ways of using technology to make life better and how he links technology with urban planning 
  • The diverse backgrounds and skill sets Lior sees in the world of urbanism 
  • What a Smart Community is to Lior and the concept of a ‘stupid city’ he applies to cities to determine are they Smart Cities
  • How some technology solutions may not always be the most efficient and can create other issues elsewhere 
  • The difference walking/cycling can make to Smart Communities compared to autonomous vehicles, and how Smart Communities should incorporate these modes of transport 
  • Lior’s business Humankind City, and some examples of the projects they have been working on 
  • Lior’s smart approach to implementing plans, to try first, get feedback from the community to test its viability before implementing permanently 
  • How communities need to identify what is important to their community, be able to measure that data and use technology to improve the community for the better 
  • The emerging trends of replacing infrastructure allowing for people to walk/cycle more, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and its effectiveness for communities, the 5G network with cheaper more available sensors and the trend of more micromobility in our communities 
  • The importance of active mobility and micromobility policies to gain the right balance for our communities 

Quotes: 

“I love technology. I’m excited about it. And I am also excited about finding ways to use technology to make life better. But I try to look at it from the urban planning side rather than from the technology side.”

“I think among the new wave of urbanists, or the more human oriented urbanist, we all agree that a Smart City has nothing to do with sensors, per se, or with interconnected machines, it’s more about the needs of a community and creating safe accessible cities.”

“We need to plan for people first, and then use technology to make it happen.”

“I like to always go to the ‘stupid city’ question, because then it’s very easy to see the difference between a smart and a stupid city.”

“[Humankind City] try to make cities that are human and kind to ourselves, to others and to the planet. And the projects we are working on all have sort of similar topics, which are, let’s look at urban issues that we have right now. Try to look at them from a different angle or from a multidisciplinary way and propose an urban solution, policy intervention, etc.”

“The idea of trying out before you make a permanent plan, I would call it a smart approach.”

“I think that if we go back to old way of urbanism, which means a bit slower sitting on the street observing the people seeing what’s important I think then later on, we can go back to the office and think about technologies that can foster that or measure that, right now the way we are now solving it or the companies are now solving it is a bit shallow.”

“Those trends of [cities] basically realising, we don’t have a space problem in the city, we have a mobility problem, in which we give too much space to cars, that trend is coming up.” 

Links: 

Humankind City Website 

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Lior via Twitter or LinkedIn 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community  

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.

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