Cities, Future workplace, People Place Performance, Technology

What interests me most about the technology sector in New York was that it pioneers so many of the new ways of using space and technology and represents a broader vision of what future workplaces could be like. The tech sector has been growing very fast in New York, primarily because the products and applications being created are so closely linked to the markets of finance, fashion, and entertainment that drive the New York economy.

But more than the synergy between the technology businesses and the growth sectors of the economy, what was interesting to me also was the fact that the technology products being developed are applications to improve how we live and work in dense urban environments. And the technology workplace, as such, has become a harbinger of wider trends and innovations in how we design, use, and procure space. Whether in the form of new types of coworking spaces, or in the “meet-up culture,” or in terms of how technology is enabling space to be procured in new ways, the tech industry points to big changes in how we think about the future workplace.

Ironically, the tech industry in New York points to how important the networked physical fabric of environments for working and living in the city are, even in an increasingly virtualized world. Two big shifts are highlighted, which have general implications: the shift towards more collaborative and urban “workscapes” that are more heterogeneous, mixed-use and multi-scaled; and the shift to the collaborative consumption of workspace and workspace-as-service, provided in ways that are more responsive to short-term changing user demands.

Read “Work and Workplaces in the Digital City,” a paper I wrote for Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE) and presented at a conference hosted by CURE November 1, 2013 called “Building the Digital City.” Let me know your thoughts.


Andrew Laing

Andrew Laing is global practice leader, Strategy Plus, AECOM, and a senior fellow at the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE) at Columbia University. 

Originally published Apr 8, 2014

Author: Andrew Laing