Dominika Brodowicz and The Future of Cities

Dominika Brodowicz and The Future of Cities

Dominika is a futurist. She is working on the future of cities for the Warsaw School of Economics. In her interview, she gives amazing insights about the future cities and her work on Eco innovations and Smart Cities.

For her, the biggest trends are:

  • Sharing Economy
  • Transportation
  • Affordable housing

What is the future of cities?

I see global trends about smart cities, and this is a very strong dynamic trend, which will be developing not only because of our young generation. They’re used to mobile phones. They’re used to being connected, and staying online, and using applications in their everyday life. That’s the one trend, and what companies are trying to sell.

There’s a second trend only about Warsaw. We are currently working on our strategy, which is called “Warsaw 2030,” and in this strategy the smart city is not being presented directly. For the city, and for the people who are responsible for the strategy, for the development the strategy a smart city is more like a tool. It’s not a goal.

They are not planning to call Warsaw “The Smart City” like Barcelona for instance. They are trying to use the ideas and tools to make a city more likable. That why we in our strategy we have ideas how to make the city connected. How to make livable, and friendly, and open, and also very creative.

Warsaw in 10 years

In 10 years, you will be more connected. They are already plans to create a wifi district. We have couple of them, but it’s progressing very fast. The second thing are campuses. It’s not only Google Campus. There are more coming in because people are shifting their professional career from corporate world to startups, small companies, and services based on their needs.

What will happen in the next 10 years in the most advanced cities?

Number one will be the sharing economy.

That will be a huge trend because of the characteristics of our population X, Y, and Z, which is just coming in.

Another thing would be transportation. We are switching very easily to new modes. In East European cities, people see the value of using bikes, and of walkability of cities.

So sharing economy, walkability of cities, and another thing you might not see it as a strong trend, but from my own research I need to again stress that out affordable housing.

Affordable housing

Affordability needs to be supported by the government, and already governments see the huge problem of young generation, which are staying with their parents. You have a three, four generation houses, and this is not how you create actually a new families. Because people after a while are being stressed. They are not so productive, and they’re not following their dreams.

What needs to be pointed out that the support of the government in terms of the finding social, and affordable housing would be the basis for the whole economy.

The change with young people

My students changed significantly recently. When I started in 2006 as a lecturer, most of us were thinking about careers in banking, and finance, and in corporate world, just climbing the ladder. The last three to five years I saw the shift, and actually last two years there are examples of students who are not proceeding the careers in corporate world. They’re trying their own startups, and they’re trying their own ventures. They graduate the studies, and they do the travels, so there’s a year of travel just to think about discovering the world.

3 things to be prepared for a new world

And the advice for young people to be prepared for the new world coming:

  • Be prepared to change your career anytime
  • Stay open minded
  • Create connections

 

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