Urban Humans

Today over half of the world’s expanding population live in cities. What does this mean for being an ‘urban human’? Answering this question requires knowledge of how technological, environmental, biological and political changes affect urban life. It is also necessary to understand how urban humans are imagined and how these framings inform city processes.

The theme advances our understanding of the distinctive nature of the 21st Century ‘urban human’ and examines implications for policy-making, planning and design.

Research Questions
–    Do assistive technologies and architectures extend human capacities and functionality beyond existing human norms?
–    How does urban life
shape the corporeality and physical/mental health of bodies and does this produce a distinctive type of urban human?
–    Does the need to live with others and deal with tensions, generate questions about specifically ‘urban’ human rights?
–    What survival strategies
are needed for the marginalised urban human that improvises on the edge of the formal economy?


July 12, 2018 in Blog, Urban Automation

Three ‘living labs’ which show how autonomous robots are changing cities

This blog was written by Rachel Macrorie and originally appeared in The Conversation on 12 July 2018. Ready or not, autonomous robots are leaving laboratories to be tested in real-world contexts. With more and more people living in cities, these technologies…
Read More
July 10, 2018 in Blog, Urban Automation

Automating the City & Urbanising Automation: Four priorities to shape the expansion of robotics and autonomous systems in our everyday lives.

Ready or not, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) are rapidly moving outside of laboratories and factories to be tested in the real-world contexts of everyday cities around the globe.  There are significant opportunities for technologists and receptive cities to work together…
Read More


Volumetric urbanism workshop (June 2017) – Joint with Rowland Atkinson and UWS


of the Earth’s surface has been urbanised


people currently living in urban areas


Number of people who voluntarily wear an electronic tracking device such as a smartphone


Approximately of global GDP is generated in cities