Nowadays, we no longer simply refer to residents or inhabitants, but to « users » of a city or town. With new cities now being created worldwide, services and well-being are at the heart of developers’ concerns. In addition to services, however, cities must also be places of accessibility, offering ease of use, cohabitation and community. We no longer refer to « inhabitants » but to « users », as the cities of today and tomorrow become increasingly focused on meeting all types of need.


A word from the professionals

An attractive and efficient city is a smart city, a concept created after a long process of reflection by developers.

A wide range of tools are now employed tooptimise a city’s creation, and always by combining the strengths of different skill sectors like BIM (Building Information Modelling) and CIM (City Information Modelling). “BIM may be Building Information Modelling but I call it Bouleversement Interprofessionnel Majeur(or major interprofessional upheaval). It all goes back to the idea that BIM is 80% human and 20% technology” explained architectFrançois Pélegrin during the BIM World 2019 in Paris.

Réana Taheraly, Head of Innovation at Grand Paris Aménagement, also talked to us about CIM. “Proper CIM is about creating a model that will one day be able to exploit all of a territory’s data, all the big data, and do AI itself. It’s a model that can fully involve users, and could even include co-design, to create the city in real time” she said. She also explained that “the major challenges for developers and anyone building a city using CIM will be to successfully guarantee the free flow of data, the interoperability of systems, and to create a framework of trust for digital security and the protection of citizens’ data”.


The city of tomorrow: The smart city! 

To ensure we make users the true focus of our work on the towns and cities of the future, we are now concentrating more and more on the use of data to optimise the urban space. This requires a more technological environmentthat uses data from residents and the environment for the comfort of all. But it is also useful for developing an environmentally friendly approach. The idea is therefore to make the transition to sustainable smart cities. “Ecological transition should never be disassociated from digital transition” explains Réana Taheraly.  Creating this new type of city is a complete disruption of the traditional approach. And this can lead to certain apprehensions on the part of inhabitants. Especially when it comes to data protection, as Réana Taheraly previously pointed out. François Pélegrin gave the example of the Canton of Geneva to highlight the importance of technology in building a city: “You want to apply for a building permit in Geneva. You click on your plot. The regional administration then scrutinises the 600 layers of information that it has, both under- and over-ground, extracts the restrictions and data that affect your plot and passes it all on to you. In addition to getting hold of the digital models, to ensure predictive intelligent management of the city as a whole. Because « using this big data, we can do wonderful things”. It thereby demonstrates the involvement and impact a city can have on the construction of a building.


Check out the rest of the debate: here