Briefs: House + Home

The Future of Cities: Smarter, Greener

flickr_Trey Ratcliff

Propelled by drivers in all five STEEP categories (social, technological, environmental, economic, and political), many of the world’s cities are striving to become greener and smarter.

A rising number of cities are pursuing environmental sustainability and embracing intelligent systems not only for their own sake (to cut costs, to run more efficiently, and to better serve their residents), but also for the sake of the greater world (to reduce carbon emissions and to inspire other cities to do the same).

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China + Aging: Economic, Social, Policy Implications

China Aging Update

China faces an aging problem characterized by a number of interrelated components: A rising median age, a failing social safety net, the one-child policy introduced in 1979 to curb population growth, and a gender imbalance brought on directly by the one-child policy and a cultural preference for boys.

According to Yuan Xin, a professor and director of the Aging Development Strategy Research Center at Nankai University, “There is no country in the world that is facing such a big aging population problem.”

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The Future of Home Furnishings: Integrating Tech While Saving Space

homefurnishing_brett jordan_flickr

Changes in global lifestyles are posing new opportunities and challenges for manufacturers of consumer products. Shifts in where people are living and how they are living their lives, as well as the growing centrality of technology, for example, have altered their relationships with the objects in their homes, redefining what they want and need. What will happen over the next decade?

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Healthcare at Home: Six Forecasts for 2020

Nurse and elderly man spending time together --- Image by © Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis

The number of individuals receiving medical care at home will grow over the next decade, driven by demographics, economics, consumer preferences, and technology enablers. IBM notes that residential care and home care together constitute a $45 billion industry that is projected to grow, and that “the cost and quality of care improve” as care moves across the continuum from hospital and clinic to residential to home settings.

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