Extending Manhattan: could this audacious plan be realised?

In this WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing we report on a proposal to extend Manhattan with a new reclaimed quarter, and looks at the top five innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Could it really happen? That’s the question New Yorkers are asking following the unveiling of a proposal to add a new district to the tip of Manhattan on 1,760 acres of reclaimed land.

The brainchild of Jason Barr, a professor of economics at Rutgers University, ‘New Manhattan’ would be a dramatic piece of urban reclamation extending Manhattan Island into New York Harbour beyond the Statue of Liberty.

According to Barr, this audacious urban intervention would not only address New York’s housing crisis with 180,000 new homes but would also act as a barrier against flooding due to climate change.

New York firms keen to bring back workers to the office will welcome anything that alleviates the city’s lack of affordable housing, but how would the scheme be financed? Jason Barr believes the high value of New York real estate would cover the costs of reclamation and construction. ‘I’m mindful of the pie-in-the-sky aspect of it,’ he told Dezeen magazine. ‘However, if you crunch the numbers, there is a certain economic logic to it.’

Consumer electronics on the march

What were the standout innovations at CES 2022, the vast Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas earlier this month? We asked Kevin McCullagh of London innovation firm Plan, a regular contributor to WORKTECH Academy on technology, to name his top five highlights.

First, Sony’s announcement that it will explore the commercial launch of its own EVs (electric vehicles). The move, says McCullagh, highlights the EV category’s low barrier to entry which is bound to benefit from the competition of a brand renowned for tech innovation and manufacturing quality.

Second, Samsung’s Eco TV Remote which utilises solar power and long-touted energy harvesting from wi-fi radio waves – potentially saving 99 million discarded batteries, based on a TV’s lifetime and  Samsung’s annual sales. This, says McCullagh, is ‘a great example of a mainstream tech device combining consumer benefit with a tangible dent in sustainability targets’.

Third, a games console from Picoo that brings outdoor games to life with lights, sounds and vibration triggered by interactions with other players. According to McCullagh, ‘this flies in the face of metaverse hype pulling people into the digital world – augmenting the real world to entice kids away from screens.’

Fourth, a smart door for new homes integrating a camera, sensors, lighting, smart lock and, most critically, power to remove the need for swapping batteries, created through a partnership with Ring and Yale.

And finally, tools to personalise your look easily: a non-permanent tattoo printer from Prinker and L’Oreal Colorsonic, a specialised brush and cartridge to colour hair without the mess. Clearly personalisation will be a big theme in 2022 – not just at work but on our bodies too.

Coming to a city near you

Interested in the issues discussed in this WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing? Then check out our WORKTECH events calendar for 2022 to engage in the big conversation on the future of work and workplace.

WORKTECH22 Munich takes place on Wednesday 23 March 2022. Join us as we highlight key trends, innovations and strategies for the workplace. Highlight sessions include Flexible Futures: The Five Phases of German Workplace Design, Why the German Enterprise is Failing at the Future of Work and How to Turn it Around, The Salesforce Real Estate Journey: Transforming Space & Culture. View more sessions here. Secure your place at the Early Bird Rate here.

 WORKTECH22 Chicago takes place on 10 May 2022. Join 100 attendees in-person and network with senior decision makers, learn about the latest workplace trends, hear from local and global thought leaders and be inspired by the latest innovation in the city right at the heart of development of the modern office. Book your place here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our in-person, virtual and hybrid platforms. This edition is posted 26 January 2022.
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