UD3: Citizen Driven Smart Technology in the Urbanisation Process

The 2018 International Urban Design Conference will be held at the SMC Conference and Function Centre, Sydney, NSW over 12 – 13 November.

The conference will showcase innovations in projects and research embracing and creating transformational change in urban environments.

Joining us at the conference is Mr Abu Hoque, Technical Director at Harrison Grierson who will present on ‘UD3: Citizen Driven Smart Technology in the Urbanisation Process’.


Abu Hoque

In any country cities are the most problematic places in terms of environmental, social, economical and cultural issues. At the same time, these places offer opportunities in co-ordinating the utilisation of available resources and a scaling up of services that is more difficult to accomplish in rural settings. The concentration of a large number of people in city environments creates a critical mass of diversity that in turn provides opportunities for a natural collaboration setting for addressing various built environment issues and also a platform to advocate innovation in new technologies, services and business models.

It is therefore a common phenomenon to see that many technological innovations are happening in our cities, but the question is how many of these innovations are citizen driven to solve their own problems. When cities are the first points of connection for large corporates, foreign markets and external influences, the value judgement of various technological creations from citizen’s perspective could be compromised as city dwellers are not directly involved in development process of this technical master pieces.

The rapid progress of new technologies within dense city environments should offer not only hubs of entrepreneurial and innovative activity for tech-savvy people, but also a real opportunity for the city dwellers to attain the equal right along with policy makers, politicians and city officials in taking a part in the city development process.

In this context, the purpose of this paper is to identify how citizen-driven innovation can be incorporated in city planning, designing and building process, such that even the most resource constrained cities can invest in local prosperity and address core sustainability issues more effectively.


Abu Hoque is a Technical Director with Harrison Grierson and a Senior Urban Designer of the Company. He has over 28 years’ experience. His current role involves taking a lead design and project management role in major projects in structure planning, master planning and medium density housing development. Also involved in smart urban innovation, integrated transport and land use planning projects, town centre development plans, low-impact sustainable housing schemes, resource consent applications, environmental impact assessments, urban design assessments, writing of design guidelines and preparation and management of Plan Change documents.

For more information on the 2018 International Urban Design Conference visit the conference website at urbandesignaustralia.com.au


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