Tech Salon: Sustainable Design

  •  October 14, 2016
     8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Scales of Sustainable Design

From individual structures to smart cities.

Adequate, reliable, sustainable infrastructure can be an elusive concept in the developing world. From public roads to sewerage to private homes, a lack of planning, regulation and resources has led to failing infrastructure and an inability to provide for basic human needs. The piece meal nature of development, often taken on by individual entities, results in disjointed and unregulated growth. Families are forced to purchase remedial infrastructure – like water tanks and generators – to supplement when the infrastructure they depend on fails.

In response to this, the concept of smart cities has emerged – cities that seek to improve quality of life and the delivery of services through master planning, integration of ICT and sensors throughout the urban environment to provide realtime monitoring.  But how easy is it to make the jump from unreliable or nonexistent infrastructure to fully integrated smart cities? A current smart city underway is Konza Techno City in Kenya, a government-led project that engages many private sector partners including Denver’s own OZ Architecture.

Learn about the Konza smart city project and the challenges of smart city design, hear about the perspectives of sustainable designers working at smaller scales of development and engage in a lively discussion on the efficacy of smart cities and how sustainable development can happen at all scales.

 Our conversation will be guided by these thought leaders:

Some Guiding Questions to Consider

  • Are smart cities feasible? Do master plans work?
  • How can we make the jump from unreliable or nonexistent infrastructure to smart cities? What about focusing on functioning cities?
  • How can elements or best practices from planned smart cities be incorporated in to smaller projects?
  • Can existing development be incorporated into smart cities? What about the widespread use of remedial infrastrucutre?
  • How do the scales of infrastructure development and planning interact? How do decisions made about individual structure impact planning, and vice versa?

Please RSVP below now to join your peers for this lively debate. Coffee/tea and a light breakfast will be provided.


The Technology Salon™ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals. Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 35 people – and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. It’s also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!

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