Innovative Alzheimer therapy
November, 15th, 2018
In our weekly news filter ‘What We’re Clicking On’, we share our thoughts on the most interesting articles relating to the future of cities, buildings and interiors.
Town square sceneries
California-based nonprofit the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s family centers Inc. is exploring a method that treats urban elderly suffering from Alzheimer and at the same reuses suburban shopping malls.
A popular approach to treat Alzheimer is reminiscence therapy: patients and caregivers discuss past activities and experiences to bring back memories, usually with the help of photographs, music and family items from the past. Following up on this, the Glenner organization developed town square sceneries, that can be built up in vacant retails spaces, resembling American towns from the 50s and 60s, existing of for example a diner with jukebox, a cinema, a petrol station and a classic barbershop. The Town Squares, built by San Diego Opera Scenic Studio, enable elderly to actually engage in activities which will remind them of the time they were young.
Climate resilient city
A Dutch newspaper reports on a engaging masterplan, created by White Architects, for the city of Kiruna in Sweden. This masterplan shifts the city two miles east, away from old mines that threaten the city’s economic future. This shift in location will come with opportunities to improve the city by making it more beautiful and sustainable.
Kiruna will be transformed into a climate resilient city that is an attractive place to live from an ecological and social perspective for current and future generations. This will be achieved by utilizing green infrastructure, creating high quality urban spaces and using synergies between nature and city development. The TU Delft will be involved as an advisor and co-creation of the plan together with citizens will play a prominent role in the transformation as well.
More information on the Kiruna Masterplan can be found on the website of White Architects and on the website of TU Delft.
Smart speaker programs
Half of American households are expected to own a smart speaker in 2019. Global smart speaker revenue worldwide is projected to go up from 4.4 B USD in 2017 to 17.43 B USD in 2022. Due to this rapid adoption, cities are now developing smart speakers programs with the goal to improve communication between them and their citizens. For example, in April John’s Creek launched an Alexa program that mines the city’s open data portal in order to turn its vast trove of zoning, crime and public works data into easy-to-understand nuggets of information. Similarly, in New York City residents can use their smart speaker to check their water usage and pay their bills, and in L.A. citizens are provided with information about local events and recent earthquakes.
However, while developing smart speaker programs, cities will need to streamline and curate their data and keep in mind privacy concerns. Personal data must only be shared under limited circumstances. In turn, Alexa can use the requests to train its algorithm to understand different dialects and accents to offer better services and extend the possibilities for citizens and cities.
Source: City Lab; Albuquerque Journal