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LABCITIES
2 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

A new year tends to be a time for renewal in many aspects, with a particular focus on improvement. Whether resolutions involve kicking old habits or beginning a new activity, the changes usually all come back to advancement.

The same holds true in the smart cities space. A new year presents the opportunity to reflect on the trends that shaped cities during the previous year, while preparing for the next round of opportunities for evolution. Some predicted city trends are fresh, intimidating concepts, while others are receiving renewed attention when examined in new contexts.

Smart Cities Dive has compiled the following list of trends that are expected to influence the smart city space in 2018.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

One smart city mayor says to enterprise execs “Don’t come to us with solutions, ask us what we want to do.” What’s the best way for P3s to come together?

The answer lies in our history and the path towards emerging tools and technologies. The essence of P3 innovation in the future will not be in the realm of financial engineering, although new forms of new structuring will certainly be vital to their success.

Over the past two centuries, nothing has reshaped our lives more fundamentally than technological innovations.

The forces unleashed by earlier innovations created opportunities for the men who would later become railroad tycoons, steel barons, and bankers. Many of them were keenly interested in driving the U.S. westward, using an extensive network that linked railways, enabled unprecedented commerce, communications, and settlement.

Their railroads fundamentally altered America’s economic and political geography, and how people thought about the previously distant front...

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Giovanni Silva
3 days ago
Giovanni Silva
Smart City Expert

AT&T is hooking bridges up to the Internet of Things.

At CES, AT&T announced that it's testing a new "structure monitoring solution," a system of sensors to help cities, states, and private transportation companies monitor the stability of bridges, and alert officials if they become unsafe.

The battery-operated sensors can be applied to all bridges, from foot bridges to those that support roads and railways. They will then take readings every eight hours and transmit the data to the IBM cloud via AT&T's LTE network.

The sensors will monitor a number of bridge factors including crack width and temperature, joint movement, and changes in angle.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

As global markets hurtle towards a 2018 that’s shaping up to possibly be one of the most innovative years on record, eager onlookers who are tapped into the tech-scene’s pulse are wondering what the next trends will be that drive the IoT forward. After a crazy 2017 that saw the IoT become a household name throughout the world, some are wondering what 2018 could possibly have in store that could still surprise us, but you’d be surprised at what’s yet to come.

Brush up on 7 of the leading IoT trends that will come to define 2018 and reshape the world as we know it, and you’ll be setting yourself down the path of success well before the new year even begins.

LABCITIES
2 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Each year heralds in a new wave of predictions when it comes to the trends and technology that will be sweeping over smart cities—and developing new ones. In 2017, European cities saw the rise of smart city solutions like electric vehicles, smart parking and street lighting, and free (and fast) Internet. 5G, for example, was a hot topic at tech conferences as companies partnered up with cities to get the networks in place for this high-speed service. We saw cities look to options from sustainable building to smart transportation as ways to cut carbon emissions and become smarter for long-long term success. This comes as no surprise to over half the global population living in cities over the past decade, and the UN predicting that more than 70 percent of people will live in urban areas by 2050. In 2014 there were only 28 megacities (cities with more than 10 million inhabitants), and that number is expected to multiply to more than 650 by 2030. Below, we’ll take a look at the top trends predicted to drive the smart city market in 2018 that cities across Europe should keep in mind when putting their own strategies and solutions in place.

LABCITIES
5 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

The wait for the self-driving future is coming to an end. The earliest real-world applications of autonomous vehicles will arrive in 2018.

Starting in Phoenix this year, a small number of commuters will be riding in driverless Chrysler Pacifica minivans as part of a trial conducted by Waymo, the self-driving car unit owned by Google’s parent company. For the first time, ordinary people just trying to get to work will be interacting with autonomous vehicles. Waymo has promised to broaden the test to a wider market soon.

Other major players will spend this year preparing for the imminent introduction of driverless vehicles. By 2019, General Motor Co. expects to deploy electric Chevy Bolt robot taxis in big U.S. cities. Uber Technologies Inc. has also pledged to launch a fleet of self-driving Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles in that time frame. Tesla Inc. missed a self-imposed deadline for a coast-to-coast driverless excursion by the end of 2017, but Chief Executive Officer Elon Mu...

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Julian Sandler
yesterday
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

Ford and Silicon Valley-based Autonomic will work together to build a new open platform upon which cities can build out infrastructure communications, including connected traffic lights and parking spots, called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.” Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced the news on Monday at the CES 2018 keynote kicking off the annual conference.

The platform is designed to help connect smart transportation services, as well as adjacent connected offerings, uniting them with one common language to help coordinate all this efforts in real-time. That means tying together personal cars with vehicle-to-everything communications built in, incorporating things like bike sharing networks, public and private transportation services, including buses, trains, ride hailing and beyond.

The Transportation Mobility Cloud will support location-based services, determining routes, sending out alerts about things like service disruptions, handing identity management and payment processing...

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James Bell
5 days ago
James Bell
Smart City Expert

Revolution in technology and industries in the past decades lead to a new debate among the world leaders on ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’. The debate still remains open and on with questions like ‘who is responsible’, ‘to what extent these problems are man-made’ and ‘what can be done to get rid of the crisis’. Here, let us skip the first two questions (as they are really not as important as the solution) and focus on what should be done to overcome the adverse environmental crisis on our planet.

Though at the regional level the effects of global warming are not clearly visible, at the global level it is accelerating faster than humans can handle. With the trend creeping ahead from past 50 years, the hottest years in the history were recorded since 1990. Considering what the scientists have to say, if the emissions responsible for global warming are not stopped from increasing ‘now’, the average global temperatures can rise from 3 to 9 degrees in the later years of 21st century – we all know it will lead to rise in sea level, drought, rising storms, flooding, wildfire, and heating up of ocean currents affecting the human life with most dangerous outcomes. We need to act now by understanding how we need to begin and in which direction.

James Bell
yesterday
James Bell
Smart City Expert

Before having a read about what amazing transformations blockchain is making around the world, let us have a quick closer look to what exactly blockchain is with a simple example – A and B are two individuals/entities in a blockchain based parking system. A pays the parking fee to B who is the parking authority. While the transaction is on, it is represented online in the form of a block that includes data such as block number, proof of the work, transaction records and data related to the adjacent (previous) block. The block is visible to everyone who is a part the open network. Other entities verify the block and confirm the transaction after 50% of the entities have approved it. After the final step, the block enters the permanent chain and the parking fee is transferred from A to B’s account. All this happens within few minutes of duration.

This example would make it easier for the newbies who still do not have a clear picture of what is blockchain and how it could be used. So, from the example mentioned above, blockchain is a P2P distributed ledger technology that keeps account of transactions, contracts, agreements and sales. Initially, blockchain was created to underpin cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum). But today this technology can be deployed in any kind of transaction without an intermediator (To know more about blockchain and its benefits visit the introductory blog on blockchain)

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

At this year's CES you'll hear plenty of talk about driverless cars, connected homes and the internet of things. (Yes, we promise IoT, perhaps the buzziest of tech trends, is more than just hackable baby monitors and $400 internet-connected juicers.)

Here's the technology that will drive all of those innovations over the next decade: 5G.

The shorthand tag "5G" stands for fifth-generation wireless technology. Those broadbandlike wireless speeds you're getting on your phone now? That's 4G technology. So just think about what happens next.

If you're excited about the prospects, you aren't alone. Tech observers see 5G as the foundation for a host of other trends. At last year's CES, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf described 5G as the biggest thing since the introduction of electricity.

Remember, a lot of work needs to be done for 5G to achieve broad scale. But with networks set to go live by 2019 and coverage reaching 20 percent of the population by 2023, now's the time to start caring about it.

LABCITIES
11 hours ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

By 2050, the world’s population is expected to rise to over 9 billion, with 2 billion people above the age of 60. Governments have agreed on a very ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals to address the challenges inherent in population growth of this magnitude.

Recent estimates by the World Health Organization published in The Lancet state that reaching SDG 3 — which addresses healthy lives and well-being — would require new investments increasing over time from an initial $134 billion annually to $371 billion by 2030 in order to address the health challenges for 67 low- and middle-income countries.

To put this number in perspective: About the magnitude of this amount, the total global development aid across all sectors reached an all-time peak of $142.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 8.9 percent from 2015 after adjusting for exchange rates and inflation.

It is clear that no single government, civil society, or the private sector can foot this bill. New mindsets, technologies, models for collaboration, financing, and delivery approaches are needed to ensure all people receive the care that they need. The good news is that we have already seen a few projects successfully tackling challenges of similar magnitude.

Jürgen Schmidt
6 days ago
Jürgen Schmidt
Smart Consultant

Data collection, analysis, and integration, therefore, is critical in enabling informed and robust decision making for urban sustainability. In addressing the eleventh goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims at making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, the Global Pulse program has been initiated by the United Nations to explore opportunities and challenges in utilizing big data and analytics. The Data Integration and Analysis System (DIAS) maintains a vast amount of data dealing with diverse issues concerning urban sustainability, including climate/weather, air, water, energy, building, land use, disaster risk management, agriculture, biodiversity, health, and economy. The Beijing City Lab demonstrates the usefulness of open urban data in mapping urbanization with a fine spatiotemporal scale and reflecting social and environmental dimensions of urbanization through visualization at multiple scales.

The basic principle of open data will generate s...

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Judit Urquijo
6 days ago
Judit Urquijo
Content curator

A recent study by Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health suggests that even the levels of air pollution below legal limits are harmful for human health, at least among the population over 65s. I believe that these circumstances make the internet of things look like an effective tool for continuous monitoring, allowing us to take the most opportune measures, don't you think?

Jason Black
last week
Jason Black
Project Manager

A £13.4 million initiative to create a driverless transport testing area based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London is due to be up and running by spring 2019.

Loughborough University, the lead academic partner, has been awarded £500,000 as part of the project to develop a research programme enabling a real-world working test bed for connected and autonomous vehicles.

The Smart Mobility Living Lab, where London will enable companies to trial their ideas, technology and services within complex public environments; helping them develop new vehicle systems and big city transport applications.

LABCITIES
2 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

When a group of five people convened in Washington D.C. on December 14, 2017, their primary goal as commissioners for the Federal Communications Commission was to vote on whether to overturn the 2015 regulations governing the internet commonly known as Net Neutrality, which supported "the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks fairly, without improper discrimination in favor of particular apps, sites or services".

The controversy leading up to the FCC's decision to kill Net Neutrality included accusations by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that Twitter was using its platform to discriminate against those who agreed with Pai's agenda and his own commisioner accusing Pai of ignoring investment data that did not fit his narrative as well as the request of more than two dozen Senators that the hearing be delayed until reports could be investigated that more than 1 million comments submitted to the FCC were written by bots and included c...

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Pieterjan Blondeel
last week
Pieterjan Blondeel
Head of Urban Operations at Joyn Belgium nv

Nowadays everything is smart. Your car, your phone and even your tootbrush. And you are also living in a city that becomes smarter by the day. They are smart and all talk to each other thanks to The Internet of Things.

Here is the problem with that: everything is getting smart but it does not mean everyone is getting smart(er).

Not everyone has a smartphone, not everyone knows how to access the internet and some of us don’t know how to drive. That’s nothing to be ashamed off. Not at all.

But the truth is that you are missing a lot of what’s happening. You are looking at a disprutive movement and have no clue what it is about. You can’t benefit the advantages. That’s not fair.

James Bell
last week
James Bell
Smart City Expert

While the urban population will remain relatively constant in the most developed nations of the world, in developing countries the number is going to double from 2010 to 2050. This sole fact is enough for the developing nations to speed up at building more sustainable cities for the coming generations.

Considering the other side, depending on the kind of resources available, funds from private and public sector along with successful collaborations, developing regions have seen a rapid growth in many dimensions in the recent years. Among all, the transport system has witnessed a crucial development phase in some of the African and Asian cities. There is a high potential in these regions to set up better transport systems. A lot of holistic strategies adopted by some of the European and American cities can be useful for the developing nations. Alongside, what should be the focus and where it needs to be diverted is discussed below.

James Bell
last week
James Bell
Smart City Expert

It is not just the smartphone that helps people connect or communicate with each other. Another very important tool that helps people communicate with and within cities, workplace and home is mobility. Mobility is actually the movement of people, information, services and products from one destination to another. It is that important tool that not just connects cities with cities but nations with nations.

However, the traditional mobility system functioning in cities today is the largest contributor of decreased air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro had to lose $43 billion in total in the year 2013. While, air pollution and traffic congestion in Beijing are calculated to be equal to 7-15% of the GDP. On the other hand, Germany has already sacrificed 5% of the total land available in building roads and 1,200,000 of people die in traffic worldwide which mostly includes cyclists and pedestrians. We have put here the most intolerable mobil...

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Jürgen Schmidt
2 weeks ago
Jürgen Schmidt
Smart Consultant

Governments are starting to use new information channels in decision support and policymaking – and some of those new information sources are constituents of the IoT.

Traditionally, governments decide on policy and exercise their power in a ‘top down’ model. The extent to which they reflect the will of the people varies tremendously, of course, and they may be subject to influence from lobbyists, think tanks and advisors, but in essence, governments tend to govern from on high.

Where connecting with the people is seen as desirable, however, policymakers have explored a variety of methods for gathering opinions and gauging public sentiment – and increasingly, information streams from people, animals and objects are part of an Internet of Governmental Things.

Julian Sandler
2 weeks ago
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

Elon Musk recently started a flame war on Twitter with the urban planning and mass transit community by stating “public transportation sucks”: the underlying assumption that, in the future, individual transit would be the only transportation solution with a good user experience (UX).

The mistake here is focusing on the UX of the person in the car. Unless the goal is to spend more time in the car, we should focus on the UX of being in cities and communities and let the UX of individualized transport follow.

Now, thanks to three parallel areas of development, we have the tools at our disposal which create potential for radical change in transportation — data about resources and demand, electric drivetrains, and Autonomous Vehicle (AV) systems– all of which can be used to dramatically transform the experience of living in cities.

We have a serious urban UX problem with cars in cities, and if we keep going the same direction as we have been, we are only going to make it worse. People may be comfortable in their autonomous boxes whizzing through cities, but for the streetscape, communities, and the experience of the person in the city who is not in the Autonomous Vehicle, life might get a lot ‘suckier’. We could end up accelerating and automating the worst parts of cities today creating faster traffic jams and more inhospitable, crowded, city streets.

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