Project

The Power of Without

Copyright

Bernhard Lang

Bernhard Lang

This initiative is for identifying cost-efficient and lightweight infrastructure systems for deployment in rapidly urbanizing areas.

This initiative is for identifying cost-efficient and lightweight infrastructure systems for deployment in rapidly urbanizing areas.

Kent Larson and his team are collaborating with Lord Norman Foster in a new research field named "Power of Without." Today's heavy infrastructure solutions are inflexible and will not be able to be implemented at the scale and pace urbanization is taking place. 

As the world moves towards urbanization, cities are becoming increasingly complex. By 2050, about 70% of the world's population is expected to live in urban areas,  projected to reach 6.3 billion people. To keep up with the growing urban population, traditional infrastructure systems are estimated to cost $57-trillion. Few experts anticipate that this is even remotely possible and that new strategies are needed. The cost of conventional infrastructure would exceed the combined annual GDP of the USA, China, and Europe,  and 90% of this urbanization will be in Africa and Asia.

We must find new solutions to meet the complex challenges of the future. We pose an opportunity to rethink current models and invent new systems and strategies for a more livable, equitable, and resilient future. 

It is clear to us that the world needs entirely new, fully distributed, low-cost strategies to provide these communities with energy, clean water, sanitation, and communication.

The City Science team has developed and tested a unique taxonomy in order to filter and rank informal settlements and communities. 

Also, to better understand informal communities and the challenges they have (such as lack of electricity, lack of drinking water, house quality, etc.), the Power of Without Toolkit collects all the research and potentially disruptive technologies to apply to them.