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LABCITIES
2 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Nokia has developed a framework to enable the implementation of smart cities by governments, saying more emphasis needs to be put on developing an overarching strategy rather than small projects.

Nokia's framework, published on Tuesday in Nokia's A new world of cities and the future of Australia report, is designed to aid regions in designing and procuring services for smart city concepts.

According to Nokia, while the Australian government has announced its intention to build smart cities, there are "major gaps" in how it is going about doing so.

Cities are currently not equipped for the digital future and are being left to solve the problem by themselves, such as in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Instead, Nokia is suggesting a state and territory government-level approach, working in conjunction with an overarching federal government program so that the cities themselves can concentrate on their specific needs.

LABCITIES
15 hours ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced “Facebook's plan to bring the global community together.” A few months earlier, a Swedish billionaire, László Szombatfalvy, established the Global Challenges Foundation and announced a $5-million-dollar prize to solicit ideas for remodeling global cooperation. The timing couldn’t be more symbolic, as many pundits are alarmed by what they see as an unraveling of the international system, exemplified by Brexit and a surge of anti-establishment political movements.

Globalization is vehemently disparaged by a number of prominent politicians, and Francis Fukuyama who, at one point, declared the ‘end of history,’ is now wondering how prepared our institutions really are to withstand a strong backlash. In this context, one could wonder, ‘Do we even need a system for global cooperation’? For me, the answer is a resounding Yes.

Global and regional institutions, such as the U.N. Security Council or the EU, are widely criticized for their shortcomings. Y...

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Julian Sandler
4 days ago
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

More than 5 million people live in Singapore. The densely populated island city-state off southern Malaysia covers 277 square miles and contains more than 4,300 high-rise towers. It’s also one of the most sensor-laden and demographically monitored places on Earth, which makes it an ideal candidate for replication in the virtual world.

Along with French software company Dassault Systèmes, the city is creating a data-enriched Virtual Singapore, scheduled to be up and running by the end of the year. Imagine if Google Maps were even more three dimensional and navigable, and imbedded not just with traffic data, but with your local energy agency’s consumption metrics, county’s census numbers, and loads of other information. The project layers reams of data atop a SimCity-like landscape, which city officials, urban planners, architects, and the like can use to monitor trends and connections between what are usually silo-ed departments.

Tunde Kallai
2 days ago
Tunde Kallai
Smart City Expert

Do you have innovative solutions to address urban challenges ?

Following the successful first edition of our Smart Cities Innovation Award, Le Monde newspaper invites you to apply in the following categories :
- Urban Innovation : technological and/or social innovation applied to the city.
- Civic Engagement (Le Monde-Inta Award) : initiatives whereby citizens play a role in developing and managing physical and/or virtual urban spaces and services.
- Habitat : innovations in urban living space (residential, offices, new materials, etc).
- Mobility : project that facilitates movement around and in the city at a more human level and in a more economical way.
- Energy : innovation that seeks to reduce the carbon footprint of cities.
- Cultural Action : social and digital innovation with cultural and urban impacts.

The International Awards will be offered in Singapore in June.

LABCITIES
3 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Since 2016, Helsinki residents have been able to use an app called Whim to plan and pay for all modes of public and private transportation within the city—be it by train, taxi, bus, carshare, or bikeshare. Anyone with the app can enter a destination, select his or her preferred mode of getting there—or, in cases where no single mode covers the door-to-door journey, a combination thereof—and go. Users can either pre-pay for the service as part of a monthly mobility subscription, or pay as they go using a payment account linked to the service.

The goal is to make it so convenient for users to get around that they opt to give up their personal vehicles for city commuting, not because they’re forced to, but because the alternative is more appealing.

Helsinki’s vision represents the next revolution in mobility: mobility as a service (MaaS). At its core, MaaS relies on a digital platform that integrates end-to-end trip planning, booking, electronic ticketing, and payment services acros...

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LABCITIES
2 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

China has pollution problems, and one Italian architect could have some answers.

The Chinese city of Nanjing is getting a Vertical Forest, a set of two buildings stylised with around 1,100 trees and a combination of over 2,500 shrubs and plants.

But it's not all about how it looks: The Nanjing Towers will absorb enough carbon dioxide to make around 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of oxygen every day, an official press release claimed. China's Vertical Forest is scheduled to be completed sometime next year.

It'll be the third city to get a Vertical Forest, following ones built in Milan, Italy and Lausanne, Switzerland.

LABCITIES
yesterday
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

The PC revolution, the internet boom, the smartphone economy — all were propelled along by a common set of technological standards. So will a standard platform or operating system be necessary to get autonomous cars rolling, too?

“There is certainly no doubt that many carmakers have expressed the idea that a more standardized platform would be attractive,” said John Wall, a senior vice president at QNX, which develops software that is used in millions of vehicles today.

Car companies have come to realize that existing in-car systems, with their tangled layers of software and morass of hundreds of embedded processors, are slow and overly complex by today’s computing standards. If autonomous cars are ever to become a reality, they will require even more powerful, more fully integrated and upgradable computing platforms, designers say.

LABCITIES
6 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

In this inspiring talk, Jonathan Reichental, CIO of the City of Palo Alto, presents several smart city initiatives at the Dublin Tech Summit 2017.

Giovanni Silva
6 days ago
Giovanni Silva
Smart City Expert

Humanity has come a long way since the very first cities began to emerge about ten thousand years ago. Today, places like New York, Tokyo and Dubai are centers of innovation and human progress. Urban projects globally are pushing the limits of engineering, design and architecture. Exponential technologies are being integrated into the very skeleton of human civilization. Above all, we are seeing an emergence of futuristic societies with an inspiring vision for humanity.

From the man-made Palm Islands in Dubai to the Shanghai tower in China, cities are home to the world’s most impressive engineering feats. They continue to compete with one another for taller skyscrapers, faster transportation systems and cleaner energy sources.

Exponential technologies are revolutionizing the future of infrastructure and disrupting the construction industry in the process. Dubai recently announced the opening of the first ever 3D printed office, and Amsterdam may soon be home to the first ever 3D printed bridge. With greater convenience, innovative design capabilities and reduced waste, 3D printing may dramatically bring down the cost of quality infrastructure. Given that funding has been a major bottleneck for enabling better infrastructure in many countries, including the US, this could be a liberating tool.

Jaime González
5 days ago
Jaime González
Independent Professional

Pavement lights have been installed at a pedestrian crossing in a Netherlands town to help smartphone users cross the road safely.

The light strips are designed to catch the eye of people looking down at their device, and change colour to match traffic signals. The lure of games and social media has come "at the expense of attention to traffic", said councillor Kees Oskam.

But Dutch road safety group VVN said the idea "rewards bad behaviour". "It's not a good idea to help mobile phone users look at their phones," said Jose de Jong of VVN, the Dutch Traffic Safety Association.

What do you think??

Julian Sandler
yesterday
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

Traffic signs are designed to flag down human drivers, relying on blocky shapes and bold colors to grab our gaze from long distances as we whoosh past at top speed. But how do you train a robot to spot and interpret these signs, in all their mystifying international variations?

That’s one of the many challenges facing autonomous vehicle (AV) pioneers like Google, Uber, et al. as they lay the groundwork for our self-driving automotive future. The sign problem is particularly knotty. The rise of AVs makes a stronger-than-ever case for standardizing traffic signage within national borders (road safety practitioners have long argued for the same thing, for human benefit), and possibly from country to country. Once humanity gives up the keys, we won’t need street signs at all—the robots will communicate with one another, and with the roads themselves, much more efficiently.

But for now, and during the Great Transition, AVs need to understand signs, because they will be sharing the roa...

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Tunde Kallai
3 days ago
Tunde Kallai
Smart City Expert

Dubai's transportation will radically transform in the next decades. Autonomous cars and other type of vehicles are about to revolutionize the transportation. United Arab Emirates is a leader in technology and R&D and it's a step further in harnessing artificial intelligence for major cost savings and efficiency in public transportation. During the opening events of the World Government Summit 2017 conference in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched a strategy for the future of transportation in Dubai as the key element to become the smartest city in the world.

This project can be summed up with some big numbers:
- 25% of Dubai's transportation will be autonomous by 2030
- Saving up to Dh22 billion a year by reducing the costs by 44%
- Increasing productivity by 13% which is achieved by reducing travel time by 396 millions of hours annually
- Reducing accidents by 12%, saving Dh2 billion a year.

The Dubai's Road & Transportation Agency plans ...

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Jan-Albrecht Jost
5 days ago
Jan-Albrecht Jost
Smart City Expert

When we launched Scooty, a sharing service with electric scooters, we knew that we were entering a rapidly moving market. Indeed smart mobility solutions are transforming the way we travel at impressive speed. There are various trends behind this transformation. The most notable one is probably the fact that the private sector is the main driver of this growing supply. Technology has made it possible to develop a sustainable business model (i.e. via sharing systems) and access large audiences.

In this newly created market there are several opportunities that give it room to grow. First of all it is so that the mobility industry is involved in it. They see a future where they will need to offer mobility instead of selling or renting out a vehicle. Again technology has enabled them to do so, because it has become so accessible that they can easily develop prodcuts and customers can get user-friendly services. The customer is also adapting fast and is creating a consumption pattern ada...

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Rob Kramer
last week
Rob Kramer
Smart City Expert

Exciting new app projects aimed at making cities smarter and safer, dreamed up by young developers, received €35 000 in cash prizes at the InnoApps Awards Ceremony, held yesterday in Brussels.

The InnoApps contest, launched by Huawei in cooperation with the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF), gives a leg-up to talented young people who contribute their creative ideas towards city life in tomorrow’s digitally connected Europe.

The first prize went to Parkio, an app project connecting drivers with parking spaces in real time. When launched, the app could become the first EU-wide parking platform ever created. The project was developed by Rob Kramer from Austria and Mihai Negrean from Romania, who believe the contest is a stepping stone enabling them to make a real difference for mobility in Europe: “Thanks to InnoApps, EYIF and Huawei, we were able to team up with the right stakeholders who will enable us to improve the parking landscape in Europe faster”, said Rob Kramer.

...

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Salud Ruiz
3 days ago
Salud Ruiz
Smart City Expert

These interaction systems invite users such as visitors and citizens in the City to actively participate and get involved in the city development. For this purpose, Beacons and Physical Web over Bluetooth Low Energy are being used as a new medium to interact, access to context-based content and collaborate through your Smart Phone.

LABCITIES
4 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

For cities to be smart, they need to be more than the sum of their parts. In the case of data, this is especially true. No matter how much is accumulated, if the city isn’t integrating and using data effectively, these efforts won’t lead to real results.

Finding a way to utilize the never-ending stream of raw data is pivotal for any aspiring smart city’s digital strategy. Leveraging data to improve services and infrastructure will pay dividends in the future, as data-driven systems only become more accurate and efficient the more intel they receive. A well-functioning system can manage this task, and HERE’s open location platform - due to launch this year - could be the smart city killer app.

While many smart city platforms are starting to enter the market, HERE’s stands out in part because of the company’s longevity. The company started out in the ‘80s as a digital mapping company. Now, they’re building upon years of experience – and the data they’ve acquired in the meantime – to launch their platform. Much like how digital maps empowered automotive navigation when they first launched, HERE’s open location platform is poised to invigorate cities, governments, logistics along with the whole transit industry. This is nothing new for the company. HERE has been working with organizations and consumers across sectors in order to fully exploit the potential of location data for years.

Jason Black
4 days ago
Jason Black
Project Manager

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy rocked the East Coast in a way the region was largely unprepared for. While the Gulf states have had plans in place for withstanding hurricanes, the northeast dedicated significantly less resources to hurricane preparedness. And it showed: The storm knocked out power to more than 8 million homes as far west as Michigan, and the cascading effects were felt "downstream."

And while the transportation, energy, water and communications sectors are aware of the consequences that exist should a failure of their own system occur, what happens “downstream” — to the interconnected infrastructure sector — is not as clear, In 2012, Hurricane Sandy rocked the East Coast in a way the region was largely unprepared for. While the Gulf states have had plans in place for withstanding hurricanes, the northeast dedicated significantly less resources to hurricane preparedness. And it showed: The storm knocked out power to more than 8 million homes as far west as Michigan, and th...

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Jürgen Schmidt
2 days ago
Jürgen Schmidt
Smart Consultant

Walking the busy paths crossing the lush lawns of Krupp Park, it can be hard to believe this green lung of Essen once was an industrial wasteland.

But in just a decade, Essen has turned the site of an idle Krupp steel factory into a popular nature park. There are playgrounds, a wooded area, and a lake fed with rainwater from the roof of ThyssenKrupp’s corporate headquarters next door.

Krupp Park is just one symbol of Essen’s transformation from a city of coal and steel into a model of environmental consciousness. And it’s one reason why the European Commission declared Essen as Europe’s “Green Capital” for 2017. This is the first time the award has gone to a city with a mining and industrial past, offering a role model for urban areas struggling with the effects of deindustrialization.

But Essen is a city to watch for other reasons as well. The city is making a big push around sustainable mobility, hoping to make big gains for bicycling and transit. Bottom-up initiatives led b...

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LABCITIES
5 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Opportunities to engage directly with decision-making have been flourishing for citizens over the last few years. They take many different forms, but all too often face the same challenge: too few people take part, that belong to rather uniform population groups. At this rate, participants’ opinions can’t meaningfully inform policy-making, and their democratic legitimacy is disputable. So, what can be done to attract more joiners from a wider range of backgrounds? Ecosystems of community participation certainly are one answer.

Here at CitizenLab, we work to ensure that our participation offer meets all the expectations of a participation demand. However, in most cases low demand has a more primary cause: this demand is so hindered by a poor trust in other actors and a (perceived) lack of capability that it remains unexpressed –and it needs to be freed up.

There can be an array of ways to achieve that. One strategy showing results consists in building a stronger community fabric around everyday, productive action. Some forward-looking city councils have taken this to the next level, making it more inclusive and sustainable with a community participation designed as an ecosystem.

LABCITIES
3 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

The effects of climate change may not be apparent in some parts of the world just yet.

But in Dakar, the battle against nature has already begun, with coastal erosion wreaking havoc on the city's peninsula that stretches into the Atlantic — forcing people to move out of their homes and ruining its long, sandy beaches.
By 2080, more than 300 buildings and 60 percent of its beaches could be gone, according to a 2013 report.

But now, the Senegalese capital of some 2.5 million people is fighting back, with a master plan for tackling the challenges brought on by a changing climate and growing population.

As one of the world's 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) — a project by the Rockefeller Foundation which lists resilient world cities tackling everything from rising sea levels and coastal erosion to housing and energy challenges — Dakar is the first of eleven African cities to introduce a so-called resilience strategy, a key milestone in the program.

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