Daoura Journey: The Cognitive CityDaoura

This post is part of the series Daoura Journey.

We built the house and we are already living in it. Now we have to face the common issues of a property, such as hydraulic and electrical problems, payment of service bills provided by third parties, among others. In the end, we want to keep it well preserved in the long run. Now, have you imagined if our house could understand what happens to the elements that compose it, learn what is the best service provision for the inhabitant that resides in it, and adapt to changes autonomously, allowing us a more comfortable experience?

That is the essence of the third stage of our journey, the Cognitive. The main idea of this stage is to see the city from two perspectives: that of sustainability, which includes the human being and the environment as fundamental parts of their existence, and that of resilience, which implies the idea of a city that learns from the events that occur in its territory, and adapts to the changes imposed on it all the time, due to its dynamism in regard to a complex system.

At that stage, just the implementation of technologies is not enough. There is, in reality, a change of mentality in the way that urban management is organized. A centralized urban management with a command and control mentality is left aside, to obtain a participatory, decentralized management, that recognizes the citizen and the environment as fundamental parts of its existence and to who its services must be offered with quality and foreseeability; These, in turn, return information and solutions to the city so that it constantly develops and is sustained in the long term.

In addition to that, the cognitive stage has the objective of preparing the city so that it responds to events that may jeopardize its future support and the delivery of services to the citizens and the environment that comprises it, from what it learned throughout its existence and from previous events. Sudden changes in the normal state of operation of a city, caused, for example, by manifestations and natural disasters, are quickly absorbed by the cognitive city, without its essential services being affected in a way that negatively impacts the lives of citizens. The cognitive city senses the urban vibration and adapts to it, in an autonomous way.

Who wouldn’t like to live in a city where they could maintain a good coexistence relationship, use its services in a quick and predictable way, felt safe regarding the impact of mishaps that could occur at any time, and, that mainly, had an open and fluid channel with it, to suggest changes and request improvements that could be quickly attended? That is nothing out of this world. It is simply making the city attend to what its residents and inhabitants actually need, without complications or bureaucracies, and with the extreme help of technology, data science and their “urban memory”.

The Cognitive City, therefore, is the city that makes use of the technological arsenal and its data to be simply the city in which people want to live and coexist, independently of what that wish may be, given that the city itself will learn from its interaction with its citizens and the environment. The Cognitive stage goes far beyond the perspective of digitalization, efficiency, command and control that the previous stages bring. That stage changes the whole urban organization mentality, and transforms the city into an entity that coexists with the human being and the environment, and that always seeks to offer the best of itself to allow the well-being and good social coexistence of that and those who depend on it to live.

In the next article, we will end the Daoura Journey series: From the Digital to the Cognitive speaking exactly about the mentality change in practice!

Read other posts from the series Daoura Journey.