UrbanNext Interview: Jeremy Burke and Ramon Gras of Aretian at the Smart City Expo World Congress
Updated: Jun 26
Last November, Aretian’s Co-Founders, Jeremy Burke and Ramon Gras Alomà, gave an exclusive interview to UrbanNext architect and content editor Marta Bugés. In the video, filmed by Chiara Cesareo, and edited by Sara Traba, they describe how Aretian revolutionizes urban design by focusing on innovation, communities’ well-being and economic growth.
Watch the full interview here: https://urbannext.net/aretian/.
As Ramon Gras explains in the video, a large extent of decision-making in design criteria and urban development used to be based on gut feeling and intuition; an archaic approach from a not-so-distant past creating many inefficiencies and wasting lots of resources… That is why Aretian encompasses different degrees of analytics to understand the important components of any complex system and designs specialized solutions accordingly.
By quantifying urban techniques, researchers and designers can get a better sense of what kind of contribution one is making to cities and architectural projects. Aretian combines design-thinking with systems engineering and complexity science so that the design interventions that we make in the territory are based on real foundations and have deeper, more positive results.
Aretian’s intervention process is composed of two phases:
- City Analytics Software: first, by developing software tools to analyze cities and their territory to provide diagnostics around economic and urban growth, the quality of the community, how inclusive and equitable it is, and many other considerations.
- Design Interventions: once we have this systematic and rigorous scientific understanding of how cities operate as complex systems and what are their opportunities, risks and weaknesses; the second part consists of providing design interventions or recommendations for investment or decision-making processes.
Aretian determined that the main predictor for both economic prosperity and a more equalitarian, inclusive growth is the level of sophistication and diversification of the collective know-how. We also proceeded to demonstrate what the main indicator and driver for the sophistication and diversification of this collective know-how is: innovation.
The biggest challenges that cities are facing are how to organize the available spaces to foster the creation of more fruitful collaborations, and make strategic urban interventions in the territory that help propel innovation and indirectly the circle of distributed prosperity. When dealing with complexity to this extent, Aretian’s secret recipe and methodology support a proper understanding of how to create better, more sustainable environments for communities to thrive.