Analysis of the Article "Urban Renewal, the Wireless Way" by Linda Baker

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My essay is discussing the article “Urban Renewal, the Wireless Way”. It is written by Linda Baker. She is a journalist and she came from Portland, in Oregon. The article is published during 29th of November in year of 2004.

The article is written during the old time year of 2004. During that time, the typical Nokia cellphone exists which is brings convenience for telecommunication but there is do not have Wi-Fi connection, and no GPS available. They only have the common technology. So, the author is discussed how to recap back what they have visualize and predicted during that time. How much have been realized and are improving in our daily life since then. So will be discussing what they have vision and predicted the future urban city it will look like.

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The author has visualized that few of technology that can improve experience within the city. She has code a name of “New New Urbanism” which is means that fusion between technology and urban city. From the interface of urban city and technology perspective, there are few of technologies just discovering in the public space. There are 3 categories will be grouping, Wi-Fi network, digital displays and global positioning locators (GPS). Since all of this smart technology is seem so familiar to us, but it is new to them during that era.

The first visualize and predict future technology during that time is Wi-Fi network is kind of technology that are provide wireless internet connection, and it can be supported by any devices and applications such as laptop, smartphone, PC, Tablets and so on. Wireless creates possibility of the city. Author particulars discussed the Clouds services which uses Wi-Fi network to provide people opportunity to upload any files from anywhere and it can be access by any devices. It also can share files and collaborate for view the file to others. As well as sharing the files to anyone. This is potential to create a third places when people can be more productive.

The next predicted future technology is digital displays. There have few examples that have listed by the authors, advertising screen, directory screen and urban street game. The advertising screen placed it in the city can grab a good attention from the pedestrian, maximize exposure and improve walkability along the city. It also can create revenue especially for business industry. Besides that, the author also has visualize the directory screen where provide navigation to pedestrian and improve way finding. As a navigator display all over the city, but for in Malaysia, we would mostly get this directory screen in shopping malls. It can helps customer easy to get their way from a shop to a next shop. Next predicted will comes to the urban street game where augmented reality enables playful interaction within the street. It can easily get games from the play store and play it within the city. Nowadays is famous with a Pokemon GO game where with the augmented reality that can play it more fun and interesting along the urban city.

Other than that, the author also visualizes another future technology which is global positioning locators (GPS). It is using satellites to determine your current locations and the GPS can be supported by devices like smartphone and laptop. It can provide convenient directions by giving simple instructions that helps pedestrian as well as drivers to go around the city. People also can easily get their way finding even they went to others country which is not familiar to the new places.

The overall of the smart technology discuss by author is already successfully use by us today. It is improving our urban city experiences and creates a “Thirds places” in the same time. It likes nowadays we like went to McDonalds bring along with laptop and stay there for a whole day with using the wireless internet where enables more productive and the ‘Third places’ occur. It is also makes more interesting on the streetscape and promotes excellence way finding for people within the city. This is how a traditional city change and to adapt technology.

It tends to be said that the author already visualizes a lot of smart technology and improve urban experiences. Unfortunately, author do not figure out how does the urban renewal work with the wireless way. She has not mentioned about the urban renewal but only provide future smart technology information. In my opinion, the author only put focuses on the wireless topic and ignored the important of the urban renewal. Since she is not come from architecture or urban planner background, so that she would pay attention more on how the future technology can bring impact to the future urban city and people.

From my point of view, the urban renewal also called urban regeneration. It is a process of land redevelopment in city. The renewal process is start from when demolished old building, then constructing a new building, up to date housing or it can add on some features become a theater or stadium. Here have some successful urban renewal examples, in Singapore, there has a polluted river was no longer to be used for trading activity. “Capitalizing on the Singapore River’s historical importance and potential for redevelopment, the government launched a transformational program that preserved cultural heritage, improved the environment, and opened the area for recreational pedestrian use. Similar efforts elsewhere can rejuvenate cities and regional economies,” said Jordan Schwartz, Director of the World Bank’s Infrastructure & Urban Development Hub, based in Singapore.

Another successful urban renewal example is located in Seoul (Republic of Korea). They are facing a problem of decreasing in commercial and the residential activity especially on its downtown area, including narrow roads, high land prices. It’s make the development very costly. During year 1975 to 1995, they are lost more than half of their downtown population. So that, Seoul comes out a revitalization project to renewal an elevated highway became a revitalized stream with green public space. It’s efficiently increase the variety of uses for the downtown area and also increase the real estate values.

Urban renewal enables a lot of advantages. It promotes a better utilize the existing and improving the urban layouts including road network and proposed infrastructure. It is also increasing the city productivity especially the intensive on jobs opportunities and housing while increase attracting from the visitor as enhanced property values make this more viable.

Along understanding the urban renewal and the wireless way from the author can be inspired and conclude that if that needs to achieve it by providing a comfortable and cozy environment to people by adaption of urban renewal concept, it should have the efforts of urban planning and developments, historic, cultural and physical value by utilizing technology.

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