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Giovanni Silva
3 days ago
Giovanni Silva
Smart City Expert

A lot of writing and research on autonomous vehicles (AVs) has focused on technology and deployment (for example, this recent article that speculates about which automaker is better situated to develop AVs). Less attention has been directed at identifying and addressing potential secondary impacts, such as the consequences of AV deployment for urban design. Secondary implications could end up being the largest obstacles to the successful rollout of AVs—particularly with regard to the disruption, and direct backlash, the rollout will create. These secondary implications also highlight the importance of scenario and uncertainty planning.

In this context, the Transportation Research Board recent hosted an "Urbanism Next" workshop at the Autonomous Vehicles Symposium (AVS 2017), which the authors helped organize, to examine the potential impacts of AVs and the sharing economy on e-commerce, city form, design, and development. While AVS 2017 focused on AV technology (e.g., their operatin...

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Jaime González
5 days ago
Jaime González
Independent Professional

The GCC region has been witnessing transformation on an unprecedented scale in the last few years, with economic challenges and technological progress having a combined effect on the nature of change.

Arguably, one of the main aspects of this transformation is the move towards becoming ‘smart’, with most regional governments aggressively expanding the adoption of new technologies as they strive to increase efficiencies and ease the lives of their populations.

The definition of a smart city varies from place to place, according to Fadi Salem, research fellow at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG).

In some cases, the goal is purely to increase the technological implementation and the number of apps, he says, in a focus that is more about ‘digitising’ and making things electronic than focussing on
other measures.

Other smart cities, however, look beyond technology transformation towards issues including quality of life, access to data and efficiency and sustainability measures that can be achieved using technological means.

Obviously the latter is the model that cities should strive to follow, argues Salem, and in that sense Dubai has stood out in the region for its well-defined strategy on becoming smart, with a clear goal and time-bound objectives.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Google parent company Alphabet Inc.’s plan to build a smart city on Toronto’s waterfront may soon see the light of day.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Sidewalk Labs LLC, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is nearing a deal with the Canadian city to develop a 12-acre section of the eastern waterfront into a digital downtown.

The board of Waterfront Toronto, the agency overseeing the Quayside project, as it’s called, is expected to vote at a meeting on October 20 whether to approve the agency’s recommendation to partner with Sidewalk Labs resulting from a competitive bid process after a request for proposals was launched in May, according to the Toronto Star.

Quayside, whose website envisions the district as “an exemplary waterfront community that achieves precedent-setting standards of sustainability, resiliency, innovation, inclusivity and design excellence,” is an attractive site for Sidewalk, which has been searching for a home for over a year.

Jean-Paul Rouge
last week
Jean-Paul Rouge
Independent professional

Government agencies across the U.S. and around the world are making progress as they experiment with a new generation of smart-city technologies that improve efficiencies, expand services, and reduce costs. While the concept of "smart cities" holds tremendous potential, many challenges remain.

A new report titled, "Building Smarter Cities and Communities," from technology association CompTIA provides interesting insights. CompTIA researchers surveyed 350 government officials and found that nearly three-quarters of them have a positive view of smart city developments.

Anticipated benefits of smart city solutions include cost savings from operational efficiencies; optimizing use of resources; improved government services and interaction for citizens; better stream of data to improve decision-making; and the opportunity to attract tech-savvy workers and businesses.

LABCITIES
3 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

In the race to become "smart," many cities are reaching for the bright, shiny (IoT) objects. Instead, they should plan the infrastructure required for implementing truly innovative services and systems.
Conversations about smart cities often focus on technology components, as if the "smart city" is a layer that could be superimposed neatly over an existing physical city.

That layer analogy is appealing to software architects and engineers, because it suggests a rationally organized stack of interrelated and interoperable technologies. But even the most carefully planned and ruthlessly efficient cities aren’t technology stacks. Cities are complex agglomerations of streets, office buildings, hospitals, schools, parks, transportation systems, utilities, and people.

There are also multiple participants and influencers in the smart cities movement: real estate developers, investors, universities, telecoms, utilities, automakers, transportation providers, citizens, and political parties. Not to mention the hundreds of government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Established IT vendors are already battling for shares of the smart city technology market, which is expected to be worth more than $1.2 trillion by 2022. However, progress does not rely solely on commercial vendors; smart cities are also being moved forward by thoughtful city planners, social scientists, and community groups.

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