Only through the collective efforts of all stakeholders will we be able to harness transformative technologies and realize the true potential of cities

More than half of the world’s population already live in cities. Urbanization is both a boon and a bane for the human’s quality of life. Cities can be threatening, but also the testbeds needed to come up with related solutions. It will only be through the collective efforts of academia, governments, the private sector, and the public that we will be able to harness transformative technologies and rebuild in ways that realize the true potential of cities. For example, the construction industry can learn from other sectors about adopting digital technologies and circular strategies. Automating the reuse of materials in architecture can fill this gap by connecting actors across the value chain. To rethink cities, we need to re-build and strengthen the value chain across diverse actors and support it with tools such as building-information modeling (BIM), computational design algorithms, digital fabrication, and machine learning, so that we can use buildings, instead of the earth, as material mines and depots.

This event is part of ETH Zurich’s RETHINKING LIVING campaign. We are all feeling massive change across just about every aspect of our lives. Climate change, the destruction of biodiversity, the coronavirus pandemic and technological disruptions present threats, but more importantly, an opportunity to focus on grand challenges, to embrace deeper meaning, and to rediscover overlooked aspects of our lives. RETHINKING LIVING convenes scientists, industry experts and outstanding global thinkers from ETH Zurich and across the world.

This event is part of Zürich Meets Berlin, presented by ETH Zurich in cooperation with the ENHANCE Collaboration. ENHANCE represents a new alliance of research-intensive universities. It drives responsible societal transformation, inspires and pushes for the development and utilisation of science and technology, for the benefit of society – turning global challenges into meaningful opportunities.

This event was part of Berlin Science Week 2022 and organized by ETH Zurich.