Simon Marvin, UI Director, recently undertook a public lecture on “Managing urban turbulence: Atmospheric control and the modulation of infrastructure” on 19 January 2017, 17.15 pm, at Humboldt Universität’s Grimm-Zentrum. Digital control systems enable the unpredictable ecology of the atmosphere – and its interconnections with urban infrastructures to be “unblackboxed” by being made visible, calculable and actionable in a pre-emptive manner.

These systems provide new logistical capacities that enable more calibrated responses that render the turbulence of disruptive events to be more effectively managed and modulated without closing down the whole city. This new strategic control capability for urban contexts has three distinctive features that render atmospheric turbulence and potential responses as visible and actionable. First, there is the capacity to anticipate events before they occur. Second, new control capabilities enable the development of standardised procedures for managing and withstanding events with much reduced operational disruption. Third, there is the development of new social capacity to respond more rapidly to ensure turbulence can be more effectively managed. The lecture critically reflected on the wider consequences of this emerging logic of urban control for transparency and empowerment.

You can watch his talk here.