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LABCITIES
4 hours ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

The city of the future is going to be cool, with smart tech that helps you live your life.

But no one knows exactly what the fantastical city we've been dreaming about looks like, how it'll work and what it'll do.

Take car companies, for example. When they dreamed up their ideal smart city, they imagined sensor networks in roads that told commuters the perfect time to head to work, allowed cars to self-drive to their destinations and even automatically park in a garage. Some of those innovations are already here.

Apps for Apple's iPhone and mobile devices powered by Google's Android software can alert drivers when they should leave for an appointment and suggest the best route to get you where you're going. Meanwhile, tech companies like Uber, Alphabet and Apple and car makers including Ford are playing with self-driving technology that could be in production in the next five years.

Since those issues are largely being tackled by companies, city governments are focusing th...

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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.

LABCITIES
3 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Electric car grids, smart parking, crowdsensing, digitized education, smart lighting – these are among many concepts that top global cities are pursuing to improve the experiences of citizens and businesses. Using the latest technologies, local governments are addressing pain points that are top of mind for their citizens.

For example, In The Netherlands, Amsterdam is one of the highest traffic regions so the city launched its own “virtual traffic manager” which tracks and controls the entire national traffic system in a centralized system. Because of this initiative, Amsterdam natives spend ten percent fewer hours in vehicles. Digital change takes time and resources, but many cities around the world are paving the way for what will be the future standard of city living.

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).

Giovanni Silva
6 days ago
Giovanni Silva
Smart City Expert

Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool announced that as of September the city of Amsterdam will start removing bikes belonging to bike sharing services, which are placed in public space.

Alderman Pieter Litjens announced that the goal of bike sharing concepts is to reduce the number of bikes in public space. In reality however it proves that the number of bicycles is rising as a result of bike sharing concepts. ‘The city wants to put a hold on that’.

Since the introduction last year, the number of bike sharing bicycles has increased explosively, to such an extent that the bikes are becoming a burden for the city. Last May, Danish company Donkey Republic placed 360 bikes in the city. And next to Donkey Republic, Amsterdam contains four other bike sharing services.

Amsterdam city law forbids the offering of services on or alongside public streets, making the services of bike sharing systems like oBike, Donkey Republic and Flickbike illegal.

In the last years, the city has put much efforts in removing aboned bikes in the crowded bicycle racks. And now the racks are becoming full again with sharing bikes. Therefore the city is working on a central policy to enforce removing the bikes.

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