With support from our Center, 13 students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Harvard Kennedy School will spend the summer working on a host of issues related to housing and community development.
How can digitalization help, or hinder, the wellbeing of older people who want to age in the community rather than in an institution? Responding to two papers—by Jennifer Molinsky, Samara Scheckler, Bailey Hu; and Carlos Martín—I point to five common themes: scale, audience, levels of automation, time, and equity. These issues demonstrate the complex landscape of digitalization, even when focusing on the home.
The digitization of residential energy—aided by the digitalization of information about energy usage—has spurred a revolution in energy-efficiency investments and helped spawn the “smart home” movement. This paper covers the wide terrain of residential energy digitalization by reviewing the current state of residential energy digitalization and the diffusion of its “smart” meters, controls, and network connections and information exchanges, and their evolution within the broader policy contexts of residential energy consumption.
Digitalization promises to improve lives in homes, reducing energy consumption and costs while increasing convenience and comfort and enabling an increasingly senior population to remain in their homes and age in place. The papers by Martín, and Molinsky, Scheckler, and Hu, describe the benefits and challenges of digitalization—in home energy and aging in place respectively—in addressing pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges in the US.