Planning for Population growth whilst improving the Quality of Life for All

Dr. Miimu Airaksinen

This topic was described in the Smart City Sofa Summit 2020 event by the speaker Dr. Miimu Airaksinen, CEO at Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL

"(...) We are designing city structures for inhabitants who are not even born yet! We need to focus on adaptability of buildings and infrastructures (...)".

Urbanization is one of the biggest megatrends, currently 54% of the global citizens (78% in Europe) are living in cities and the trend is increasing. Cities are also creating economic benefits; globally 70% of the GDB is created in cities and 85% in Europe. Most importantly 90% of all innovations are created in cities.

At the same time over 70% of all CO2 emissions are originated from cities. Therefore there is urgent need for smart buildings and infrastructures to support sustainable and convenient living and working in cities.
The life span of buildings and infrastructure is very long. Actually, we are designing city structures for inhabitants who are not even born yet! We need to focus on adaptability of buildings and infrastructures.

Diversity is one of the key things in order to create good living, we need to understand that diversity is not divisive and the focus should be in inclusiveness. Also the users feeling safety and secure in cities is important. Nature based solutions are globally seen as attractive but also functional for cities.

Author: Dr. Miimu Airaksinen

Dr. Miimu Airaksinen works as CEO and Managing Director at RIL Finnish Association of Civil Engineers. She is also currently member of EU Mission Board Assembly on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities. Before she joined RIL she worked over 10 years as a research professor in Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT. She is currently active in European Innovation Platform for Smart Cities and Communities. In addition she is working closely with ECTP on real estate and construction sector digitalization. At the moment she leads a CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction) task group for smart cities, in addition she is CIB board member. She was also nominated to UN habitat policy advisor for group 9 focusing on smart cities. Airaksinen is also working as a domain expert in European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research, COST, Transport and Urban Development.

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