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Shafraaz Kaba

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Shafraaz Kaba - Smart Cities

Shafraaz Kaba | Architect & Founder @ Media Art & Design Exposed (MADE) | Edmonton, Canada

Shafraaz started off studying Engineering and decided he would much rather draw than do Calculus. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design Studies, he finished his Master of Architecture degree at Dalhousie University.

Traveling to Halifax to attend school gave Shafraaz the travel bug. He has traveled to East Africa, most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He has worked in London, England and all the way to the far reaches of Northern Pakistan. In Pakistan, Shafraaz was holed up in a small town called Gilgit where he camped for eight months without reliable power, water or other services. This experience has given him a deep appreciation of building systems and their integration in modern buildings. His work in London included projects at Millennium Dome and other hi-tech buildings with architects Michael Hopkins, Norman Foster, and Nicholas Grimshaw.

He is a founding Member of the Media, Art and Design Exposed (M.A.D.E.) in Edmonton Society which creates public programs that bring design, art and architecture to the public. Shafraaz is a founding member of the Edmonton Design Committee, a project review panel for downtown Edmonton. He finds time to write for the Edmonton Journal, and has been a regular contributor to Canadian Architect, AZURE, Canadian Interiors and Avenue magazines.

The Gig Economy’s Impact on How Smart Cities are Built

Technology is continuing to move at an immensely fast pace, and cities must keep up with this change by thinking progressively about how they build cities. Intelligent Cities, also known as “smart cities” are driven by the power of internet connectivity to augment the performance and services provided by the cities. The “gig economy” focuses on workforce participation and income generation via “gigs”, single projects or tasks for which a worker is hired.

In general, nearly one million people move into cities each week. With such inflow of people, the problem arises of how to accommodate efficient facilities and services for all. North American cities are witnessing the highest levels of urbanization since World War I, with millennials continuing to rapidly move to cities, urban centers will need to create intelligent, integrated public services infrastructure to cope and to engage with young consumers.

The innovation of smart city technology and a new workforce will allow the delivery of apt services like reduction of traffic congestion, food distribution, sustainable economics and environmental overload. How will the gig economy have an impact in the rapid change of these cities? Will it be a beneficiary or a detractor to society as a whole?