The Master in City and Techonolgy (MaCT) is glad to announce that the first edition of their podcast, The Master Plan, has been released and is now available on Spotify! The podcast focuses on the future of urban environments, untangling complexity and using the podcast medium as a new format of disseminating research. The first season reflects on a diverse sets of criticalities inherent to cities, the communities that compose them, and the processes determined through their interactions.

The Master Plan, hosted, curated, and produced by Alex Mademochoritis, is the result of a one-year collaborative discussion between cutting-edge professionals, expert researchers, and the MaCT students. The students dive into the Theory of Cities Masterclasses to question urban planning methodologies, decision-making processes, and urban design proposals. The content provided by experts and faculty becomes essential for students to understand Theory as a powerful tool to continuously re-orient the dialogues, challenges, and solutions about urbanization. 

Avant-garde practitioners and researchers took part in the theoretical dialogue to inspire the MaCT students before selecting the topics of their podcast episodes. The students gained an understanding of the current urban phenomena, from philosopher theorists in the architectural-urban relationship arena, such as Jordi Vivaldi, to researchers and practitioners focused on responsive and performance-driven urban and natural environments, such as Angelos Chronis and Mathilde Marengo. Students also received insights from experts in the societal role of technology and data (Kathrin DiPaola), from policymakers (Albert Cañigueral), entrepreneurs (Saulė Gabrielė Petraitytė) and gamification (José Sanchez).

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Derived from the lessons learned, crucial urban questions about the future of cities were brought to the Master in City and Technology broadcasting table. In front of the microphone, students become the co-producers of the content to communicate the research they conducted during the year through diverse debates focused on current and future urban challenges and innovative solutions. From the result of this experience, eight episodes compose The Master Plan podcast:

The City as a Natural Phenomenon

The first episode, produced by students Maria Augusta Kroetz and Ocean Janda and in collaboration with IAAC’s Head of Studies Dr. Mathilde Marengo and the director of the City Intelligence Lab Angelos Chronis, opens the discussion for a more holistic perspective on urban planning and design inspired by natural systems.

Smart (City) Contexts

The episode brings back to the table the idea of Smart Cities, still at the frontline of the discussion for being the solution for sustainable urban environments. However, there is a contraposed understanding where Smart Cities are criticized for imposing a technological tunnel vision at the expense of quality of life. This episode is a debate with Parshav Seth and Gayatri Agrawal and tries to deconstruct the concept of smartness, considering that the idea of smartness changes based on the surrounding context.

For the Love of Data

In this episode, Weronika Sojka and Joseph Bou Saleh examine on how data science has changed the way planning is approached, offering a fresh perspective on the complicated, ambiguous relationship the world has with data. Data science has become a game changer as it has allowed us to move away from the world of speculation and go straight into informed decision-making.

The New Social

The fourth episode brings the expertise of Firas Safieddine about the metaverse and how it is set to change our relationship with architecture and cities. In this chapter, students Kishewerniha Buhari, Maria Magkavali and Aida Hassan discuss the new social tropes of hyperconnected citizens.

How to Hack the City

The fifth episode, produced by Julia McGee and Kitri Nirmal, is a conversation about how cities and, therefore, citizens are in an exponential increase of vulnerability and exposure to digital threats. The debate dives deeply into the fundamentals of cybercrime in urban environments and how to improve its security in the embedded informational networks that compose them.

Permaculture

The episode, realized by Karim Abillama and Júlia Ferreira Veiga, focuses on the momentum gained by societies actively engaged in embedding food systems in their urban environments. Permaculture is brought to the front line of the discussion to understand the principles behind this practice and how it can help to reconvert food into a sustainable process.

Wildlife in the City

The episode is a conversation between Pushkar Runwal and Jiyun Lee that analyzes the relationship between wildlife and cities in different places worldwide. The discussion investigates how simple urban strategies can address long-standing questions in urban ecology, inspire wildlife conservation, and inform sustainable city design.

Happy Cities

The episode of The Master Plan is focused on how to design and plan a happy city. This final debate, between Dimitrios Lampriadis and Yohan Wadia, discusses how citizens’ well-being can be measured. Simple planning and design strategies can make a huge difference in the experience of inhabiting our environments, enabling the improvement of living conditions and, therefore, citizens’ happiness.

 

The Masterplan series has represented an opportunity for students to develop their own critical thinking capacities about urban theory through the formation of novel ideas about the current state of urbanism and technology. It also reaches wider audiences by clashing different professional and academic interests and converging diverse knowledge to make the Theory of Cities accessible worldwide.

Discover The Masterplan, the Master in City & Technology Podcast on Spotify!

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Discover here the Master in City & Technology.