Planning Vision gave a workshop at a conference in Geneva whose central topic was Rethinking Materialism in business and dedications. SMART is a Goal-setting tool that can be used to rethink materialism but also can be aligned with rethinking and delving deep into any vision you may want to put into action. There are many different tools that are available for Goal-setting and in each case Planning Vision tailor advice to your needs, but these tools is one that we will share with you today.
The Planning Vision team have been working various platforms in Gibraltar and across the world, seeking ways to mobilise positive change in the built environment…
Architecture, Town and Urban Planning has increasingly becoming more impersonal and less relevant to the context of the local area and its residents and as a result, the ‘one approach fits all’ attitude is evident across much of our urban landscape, instead of developing tailor-made solutions that benefit all of its users, drawing from the local context and efficiently utilising resources and thereby the main principles of sustainable development.
Some of the questions we ask ourselves when in any given situation include :
-Whom does this approach benefit the most and why?
-Which are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
At a workshop we held in Geneva, we asked the participants to question think about the following questions in relation to their current initiatives and work :
– Who do your efforts benefit the most and why?
– Is there a common vision?
– What does well-being mean for you?
SMART in this context, stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. We recommend all readers take one project they are currently working on and try to start this process of SMART application.
Share your project and process in the comments below, if you need help we will get back to you! Meanwhile, we have outlined an example of the process below:
Planning Vision: A Case Study
CONTEXT : Gibraltar is a small peninsular between Morocco and Spain (Andalucia) and is a very strategic point on the Mediterranean. There are many large cooperations based here and this is important point when thinking about what shapes the economy, the environment (political & geographical) and the multitude of facets in the city-making process. So in our case: very relevant!
At Planning Vision, we find it crucial to be aware of the context you are in. We invite the reader to consider and write down your current location as it might actually help us think about our goals and to be conscious of where and how you position yourselves.
Some current global issues which are relevant to the case we speak about today include rapid population growth which requires a rapid response to strategic problem-solving, including nuanced information on the city itself to allow for thoughtful consideration around complex matters pertaining to the built environment.
Should you also wish to Rethink Materialism, your initial thoughts will need to begin from a pressing need in society.
Sustainability was Planning Vision’s which can be defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. We ask the reader to take a minute to scribble down initial thoughts – something that has been concerning you within your field that you think is connected to an imbalance of materialism.
How does this thought connect with the well-being of society at large?
The following is an image we took while working in Myanmar. Myanmar suffered a lot from natural disaster which simultaneously opened their economy to the US dollar when receiving financial aid. This in turn transformed the urban landscape.
I chose this image as it demonstrates the dense population of people living in unstable conditions often with no land rights and in extreme poverty. I learnt a lot from this environment. On the whole, it is a true example of how locally tailored solutions can be constructed for bridging divides between the more and the less affluent parts of the society.
The less affluent, in this case, were forced to seek a feasible way of contributing to the local economy to survive, as a result of the significant divide between the groups. This again is showing how part of the society benefits and the rest suffers the consequences and how local context influences the urban landscape and also town planning, which concerns the control and use of the land, the appearance of the built environment and the natural landscape and policies which aim to balance social, economic and environmental needs and requirements in order to shape the way that towns and cities grow and to create liveable communities for everyone.
The increasing divide between the materially rich and those with little material means can be seen as a global trend which can also be read through the built environment.
We made a conscious decision to look at the forces that create that kind of environment and the power structures that support it… For example we could safely say that we saw the same patterns of development in Beirut, Medellin and Italy as well as now, in Gibraltar.
This community was amazing and had created spaces for sustainable SMART solutions within their community as a natural response :
– They recycled and reused everything
– More than I had seen in many places around the world
– And what was the most important thing was that everyone played a role in the community. Each has a time they would rotate their responsibilities, each played their part in supporting different aspects and when it came to dealing with disaster, everyone pitched in.
–They donated food, any items or money to this monastery every day. Their network was their stronghold and what gave them a resilience to cope with regular floods and destruction of their homes.
What does your network currently look like? What activities or projects do you have going, or if you don’t have projects, which people are in your support/ collaboration system?
I’m inviting you now to take one of these initiatives – your most cherished/ or the one that is more important for you and apply this to the SMART way of thinking.
Would anyone like to volunteer to share their project and think through it together?
Thank you all for listening! In summary, SMART is a tool – one of the many goal setting and management tools you can use. It is a process of constant reassessment and revisit. Dont worry if you haven’t got something concrete as yet but
Why the Smartest City Solutions Put People and Environment First
Half the population live in cities. Cities are important and come with a lot of problems
Not only is the population growing but they are also ageing and those people have aspirations for better quality of life. And as the cities grow, we will have to develop infrastructure and services to cater for the growing and ageing population.
We Climate variability has started an influx of groups pushing for less energy use and the use of clean energy to reduce carbon emissions. Cities seek solutions to address these global challenges. Cities are starting to utilise smart technology as a tool to overcome these problems pushing city to adapt into Smart Cities, But what is “Smart technology”?
Smart technology uses Information Communication and Technology, the Internet of Things and Data to create Smart Applications to improve our environment, daily living and quality of life.
The term smart city has had many connotations in the past and it’s catching fire across the world. At Planning Vision we consider the term as a way that cities reorient to combine technology along with other smart processes to improve citizen productivity, fluidity and aspirations that a city may have towards urban innovation- so ultimately it is about people.
But are we ready to be Smart? In Gibraltar, a high percentage of homes now have broadband or Fibre connections and almost everyone has a Smart phone
A smart city really functions like the human body. We have all buildings here where activities take place- likened to the muscles in our body, greenery and parks – like our lungs that help to cleanse the air around us, we have all the roads just like veins and arteries in our bodies. Smart technology acts as a sensory layer – where the city learns and adapts as it goes along.
There are many forms of Smart Services. As Architects and Planners at Planning Vision, the integration of Smart Planning Solutions is paramount to the progress of local Urban Planning and Design, in the management of natural and human resources, in the increased participation of citizens in the Planning Process, all to respond to concrete changes and improve ones quality of life through monitoring different elements of our built environment including air quality, humidity, wind speeds and movements, daylighting among other factors towards looking after the planet and your pocket.