Last stories on 'People and citizens'
START A NEW CONVERSTATION
LABCITIES
2 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

One day, I’d like to design a truly modern, functional city with the character of a medieval hill town.

Rather than a blueprint, I’d like to design a series of recipes for how to create it, from the community to individual human level, from street plans to door handles. This outlines how and why that approach could work, compared to how cities are designed today.

If you designed a fruitcake the way buildings are, you would specify the coordinates of every nut and raisin. Every cake would look the same and there would be something distinctly non artisanal about it.

But cakes aren’t designed, they are created from recipes and the end result is slightly different for each one because of the action of the person applying the recipe and subtle variations in the environment. The more a product made from a recipe is connected to individual human interaction and its local environment, the more local and artisanal it looks, and people often pay a premium for hand made artisanal products rather than factory made ones.

To summarise: things made from a recipe rather than a design have more character, and hand made things made from recipes have even more character, still.

James Bell
4 days ago
James Bell
Smart City Expert

Planning and envisioning smart cities has become a big priority for governments across the world. Smart cities offer big attraction for business and the technological convenience created for residents seems to create a great vision of a utopic future. In recent years, many countries are fast initiating new Smart Cities or retrofitting technologies in existing cities. While these are a welcome change for the citizens, initiatives of this nature require larger overall perspectives and decisions must be made with an understanding of the risks involved.

LABCITIES
6 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

The city of Zug in Switzerland announced that it is the first community to offer all citizens of the city the opportunity to get a blockchain-based digital identity.

The digital ID is based on an app that utilizes blockchain technology to secure personal information and associate it with a crypto address, the release said. With the digital ID, the residents can register their identity independently on the app and the identity is verified by the ID control of the town of Zug.

Last year the city of Zug’s pilot bitcoin project kicked-off allowing residents to pay their fees in digital currency bitcoin. With the pilot project, Zug also known as ‘Crypto Valley’ has become the first locality in the world to accept bitcoin payments.

The ID project is based on Ethereum blockchain and the project saw participation from the Institute for Financial Services Zug (IFZ) of Lucerne University of Economics, as well as Consensys-uPort (Zug) and ti & m (Zurich).

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

In London, night owls bemoan the loss of 50 percent of the city’s nightclubs. In Hong Kong, bibliophiles fret about the city’s disappearing bookstores. And in New York, theatre lovers worry about “off-Broadway” playhouses succumbing to rising rents.

As booming cities around the world grow more and more expensive, cultural establishments like these — as well as live music venues, dance studios and art galleries — are facing a squeeze. That’s certainly the case in Seattle, the fastest growing big city in the U. S., where the ever-growing headquarters of Amazon.com and investment from mainland China are pushing up rents and making it harder for cultural venues to survive.

For the city that gave the world grunge music and inspired sci-fi writers such as Neal Stephenson and Octavia Butler, this is not acceptable. That’s why the local government here has created a position tasked specifically with maintaining Seattle’s cultural vibrancy.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

With the amount of data available today, cities are constantly innovating, finding new ways to apply insights in ways that benefit citizens. This is no small task, as new technologies are constantly reshaping what’s possible when it comes to using and making sense of data.

Data creates opportunities. Cities are rife with challenges that not only impact their own residents but society at large. IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are now poised to address some of the most pressing social challenges, like homelessness, transportation and public safety.

As cities find new ways to analyze data and extract insights that help solve some of their most immediate challenges, they’re also creating promising assets for tackling issues beyond their borders. Whether it’s Copenhagen’s increase in smart technologies to reduce emissions or New York’s efforts to modernize its subway and ferry systems, cities and the organizations that work with them are tackling issues that have implications on citizens around the world.

LABCITIES.tv