LONDON (Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2013), Oct 28, 2013 - After a round of press announcements and industry updates, the media, Bentley employees and customers, were loaded onto double decker buses to visit the Crystal, a Siemens' funded futuristic building near the Thames River. The Crystal is billed as the world's largest exhibit devoted to urban sustainability. Siemens is betting that, despite its technological bent, it will become a tourist atttaction.
I wasn't sure of the connection between Bentley and Siemens. Most CAD insiders know of Siemens PLM as a CAD company. There had been talk of Siemens (the parent company) being a Bentley customer on some building project.
The exhibits and videos were about technology as an answer to the world's social problems, such as over population and increasing urbanization. By 2050, 70% of the world's population will be in cities. A third of them could end up in slums.
The Crystal seems to offer technology as an answer. We can make more sustainable cars, cleaner energy. Siemens and Bentley can both help make greener buildings with their technologies. I guess with each car, building, power plant and city using less energy and material, we can make our dwindling resources last longer.
Social solutions such as population control and curbing demand for energy and materials are not addressed.