06 Arteries

Director/Producer: Tom COZENS
Music: Tom COZENS
Script: Tom COZENS and Professor Chris WEBSTER

Executive Producers: Professor Chris WEBSTER and Dr Eric SCHULDENFREI
Assistant Producer: Alex TAIT
Production Assistant: Winnie YEUNG
Editor: Nick BRIER

Academic Contributors: Alain CHIARADIA, Yuming CUI, Siddharth KHAKHAR, Xin LIU, Xian SU, Dr Guibo SUN, Hoi Hin TSE and Dr Lingzhu ZHANG
Actors: Daniel CHAN, Professor Shenjing HE and daughter

Smart city technology that reduces the time and cost of human interactions is likely to catch on more quickly and make a more profound impact than smart city tech that does not. How might the city change as the amount of un-targeted ‘wandering’ reduces? Will preference-driven navigation mean less capricious discoveries? If we interact with a city’s digital twin more than with the real city, how will it change our behaviour? How will society determine whose interests are coded into the regulations that govern the smart city algorithms that optimise pedestrian flows, organise traffic, robotically controlled flood-water systems, or allocate future urban growth to specific suburban regions? Simple building-code systems pursuing environmental health and design-safety goals, first applied in the 19th century, governed the architecture and shape of cities throughout the 20th century. Will design algorithms, harvested by machines that learn from patterns, preferences and performance observed in smart city data banks, be the equivalent to urban byelaws in the rest of the 21st  century? Who will write and govern them?

Chris Webster, HKU, 2021

Featured Location: School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Featured HKUrbanLabs:

Sustainable High Density Cities Lab (optimising urban ventilation by smart planning)
Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning (pedestrian modelling, urban analytics)
iLab (urban optimisation)


Sun, G., Webster, C., & Zhang, X. (2021). Connecting the city: A three-dimensional pedestrian network of Hong Kong. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 48(1), 60-75.

Xue, F., Lu, W., Chen, K., & Webster, C. J. (2019). BIM reconstruction from 3D point clouds: A semantic registration approach based on multimodal optimization and architectural design knowledge. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 42, 100965.

Zhang, L., & Chiaradia, A. (2019). Three-dimensional spatial network analysis and its application in a high density city area, Central Hong Kong. Urban Planning International, 34, 46-53.

Zhang, L., Ye, Y., Zeng, W., & Chiaradia, A. (2019). A systematic measurement of street quality through multi-sourced urban data: A human-oriented analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(10).