Future cities shaped by the ability to work anywhere


By Daniel Hunter

Technology will help turn modern cities into flexible working environments, influencing design and planning, and transforming urban spaces into Anywhere Working Cities, according to a new whitepaper published by Microsoft today (Tuesday).

Technology is often viewed as a short-term solution to problems, rather than a longer-term driver of social and societal change. However as the world’s cities struggle from over-crowding issues, environmental concerns, travel congestion and economic pressures, technology has emerged as the front-runner in the battle to facilitate a sustainable city for the 21st century.

Existing transport architecture cannot cope with infinite expansion and the development of third spaces in cities is desperately needed to allow people to work anytime, anywhere. These new urban areas will be located in places such as train stations and public buildings, and will bridge the gap between home and office to increase the flexibility and productivity of working people.

Any number of third spaces will be located in a new breed of Anywhere Working Cities, highly liveable, polycentric metropolises driven by societal expectation of a different way of working, shopping and living, and enabled by new architectures of buildings, technology and transport.

The paper has been co-authored by Linda Chandler, Enterprise Services Architect at Microsoft, and Philip Ross, CEO at It draws on interviews and work from a wide variety of experts and thought leaders, including Sir Terry Farrell, Master Architect famous for his regeneration projects across the UK; Steven Norris, ex-Transport Minister and board member at TfL; Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport; and Fiona Fletcher Smith, Executive Director of Development and Environment at the GLA.

London is under the Olympic spotlight, and the paper highlights how smarter travel combined with alternative working practices, as supported by Government-backed projects such as the Anywhere Working Consortium, will guide the city through... continued on page two >


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