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LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

It's slowly dawning on people that telecommunications infrastructure is at the heart of smart city development. I don't mean just connecting everyone and everything to the Internet. I mean figuring out how to build and maintain robust telecom networks that will be able to support electric utilities, transportation systems, educational institutions, public safety operations and much, much more at a fundamental level.

This is a huge opportunity for the telecom industry. And yet it's not at all clear that the industry is prepared -- mostly because smart city success is going to require network operators to work with local governments in ways they're not used to doing.

While I've been covering gigabit cities and some smart city attempts over the last few years, I'm taking the opportunity to study the topic more closely now. I'm interviewing city officials, talking to operators about their smart city strategies and monitoring regulatory efforts like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's new Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC).

One thing is clear: Nobody's figured out the magic formula yet.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

While there are hundreds of cities with smart initiatives in place, there are even more that have not started on their smart journeys. Because there is no specific blueprint on how to build a smart city, many have developed new tactics for creative development. Google's Sidewalk Labs is even dropping a smart city project on a 12-acre section of downtown Toronto where they want to experiment with "reimagining cities from the internet up."

Luckily for Google and the rest of the world, there is a host of guidance, ideas and lessons learned (sometimes the hard way) for cities to follow when starting off. Below are some ideas from experts and business leaders on where and how to start, as well as pitfalls to avoid.

LABCITIES
yesterday
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

One of the most important challenges for cities and communities is working together and sharing knowledge. But to make sure collaboration is relevant and effective, it is crucial to understand the issues that city leaders struggle with in their smart city projects.

The Global Smart City and Community Coalition visited the New York Smart City Expo, May 2017. Here, in line with the message of Mayor de Blasio, we have asked cities’ CIO/CTOs what concrete struggles they face with their smart city projects and what they would like to learn from other cities.

The result of the interviews with these key innovators from Amsterdam, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Eindhoven, New York and The Hague is aligned in the segmented videos in each paragraph, and will guide you through a diverse list of challenges for city officials with regards to local collaboration and thematic issues like mobility and city services.

Jason Black
6 days ago
Jason Black
Project Manager

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that digital technology and data lie at the heart of his vision to make London the world’s leading smart city.

As part of his plans, Khan has unveiled a new £1.6 million clean tech incubator called Better Futures. This aims to help 100 London-based small businesses to deliver low-carbon and clean tech products to tackle the causes and effects of climate change.

The scheme should be the start of a clean-tech cluster in the capital.

According to the a report by IESE Centre for Globalisation and Strategy, London is the leading European smart city. It is second in the global rankings behind New York.

LABCITIES
3 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Smart cities are no longer the future. They are here and they are growing rapidly, keeping pace with the expansion of the Internet of Things and impacting municipal services all over the world. To improve city living, smart cities collaborate with developers, big data specialists, innovators and strategic thinkers. Large companies such as IBM and Cisco work together with civic planning authorities and universities, focusing on improving public transport, law enforcement, energy use and waste management by using data-driven systems. Think smart traffic light systems, useful apps, smart street lights and smart parking.

Here are some inspiring smart cities from all corners of the globe that are getting it right – in no particular order.

Jean-Paul Rouge
4 days ago
Jean-Paul Rouge
Independent professional

This blog post to shows how LoRaWAN can be used for enabling waste management by means of a smart garbage bin. LoRaWAN provides long range wireless communication with ultra-low power consumption that enables very long battery life.

We built a proof of concept for garbage bin level tracking device, based on Raspberry Pi + Arduino Uno, and then optimized it further with a custom circuit to make a production grade bin level sensor(BLS) for smart city use cases. In this article, we will show you how you can quickly hack together a proof-of-concept of a functional smart garbage bin on Raspberry Pi using LoRaWAN.

Giovanni Silva
last week
Giovanni Silva
Smart City Expert

This week Sadiq Khan opened up London Tech Week, proclaiming in his speech that he wanted to make London the “Smartest city in the world”.

The word ‘smart’ in this context does not mean providing better education for Londoners. Instead, it means using technology to best automate, structure and arrange the city’s infrastructure, to make it work better for all of us.

Khan is right to say that London’s need to smarten up: across our old, expansive city, many different solutions are needed. And global conglomerates are dedicating thousands of hours and millions of dollars to aggregating big swaths of data to determine how to improve the places we live – not to mention, how to better target us as customers. From driverless cars to seeing eye robots, the assumption is that these solutions will be better for all of us – and our cities will be better because of them.

This word ‘smart’ is mentioned in reference to cities a lot. There are endless conferences and trade fairs exploring ‘smart cities’ or ‘Internet of things’ technologies. Most cities now have tech weeks – and the term is now so regarded that it’s often capitalised as ‘SMART’. But spending time in this world, hearing from the many mayors at the many conferences, you start to wonder who these solutions are being tailored for, and what aspects of city life are they ignoring, often unintentionally.

LABCITIES
4 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Europe’s social services face a challenging time. Angela Merkel is fond of saying that Europe has 7% of the world’s population, 25% of its wealth and 50% of its welfare spending. If the continent is to avoid a continued period of stagnation and austerity, it will need to explore more radical options.

The first challenge is to tap our collective intelligence. There are many tools available to involve more people in the design and implementation of social care policies, through platforms such as challenges.org. At their best, these draw on the experiences and expertise of service users and frontline workers to help solve problems. They put people at the centre of designing social services.

The second challenge is to commit to experimentation. No one knows what social care models will work best in 10 or 20 years’ time – the only way to find out is by experimenting. Some governments, with Finland and Canada at the vanguard, are exploring alternatives to top-down national policies. Th...

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LABCITIES
2 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

As the Internet of Things (IoT) gains traction and continues to expand, it is impacting every area of our lives and quickly turning “smart cities” from a futuristic idea into a reality. Across the globe, cities are becoming more connected, collecting data everywhere to help planners make smarter decisions and deliver new services.

A report by McKinsey estimates that by 2025, our planet’s urban population will grow by a staggering 65 million people per year. The pressure is on to meet the needs of this changing demographic, and smart cities are going to play a crucial role. The smart city industry is tipped to be worth $400 billion by 2020, with 600 cities across the globe generating 60% of the world’s GDP by 2025.

With 34 billion devices expected to be connected to the Internet within the next three years according to market analyst reports, applications are continuously being innovated to transform the way services are delivered. Approximately $6 trillion is being invested in ...

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LABCITIES
8 hours ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Thirty cities were added to the Centre's Smart Cities Mission and a total investment of Rs. 57,393 crore was announced by Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday, taking the total number of smart cities to 90.

The announcement marks the second anniversary of the launch of the Smart Cities Mission.

Mr. Naidu said that of the cities, 26 had proposed affordable housing projects, another 26 new schools and hospitals and 29 had proposed redesign and development of roads.

Julian Sandler
2 days ago
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

Be honest. When you read the words data automation you get a sudden rush of melatonin to your brain, your eyelids get heavy, and you get an uncontrollable urge to fall asleep. Don’t be ashamed; you are reacting to these words in a similar manner to 99.5% of people on the planet. Bear with me though for just a few paragraphs while I try to explain why it matters, and how we do it here at the City of San Diego.

Julian Sandler
5 days ago
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

Attract members of the "creative class" to a city and they will create jobs and spur urban renewal. But that idea, championed by noted urbanologist Richard Florida, has a double-edged downside: increased economic segregation and less affordable housing. Economics correspondent reports on how Florida wrestles with that tension in his latest book, "The New Urban Crisis."

Thibault Van Der Auwermeulen
5 days ago
Thibault Van Der Auwermeulen
Founder of 4Instance (public management) & ExpoPolis (virtuel fair software)

"Smart City Virtual Expo connects government officials with vendors"

I believe the public sector will be more and more interested working with startups.
A startup stands for: Innovation, Creativity, Flexibility, Smart approach and AFFORDABLE.

But how can both "public sector" and "startups" meet each other ?

Jürgen Schmidt
2 days ago
Jürgen Schmidt
Smart Consultant

Understanding the notions of Smart Mobility, Smart Energy and Smart Data in the context of the Smart Cities means to enter into a reality that already appears: that of the enormous challenges that represents for the cities the growing urbanization, without this supposing a loss of the Quality of life and poor management.

In the same way that urbanization is a problem, it poses great opportunities for the creation of Smart Cities, in which the binomial quality of life and efficient management are really possible.

This article is intended to introduce us briefly in these concepts, as well as to review their role in the framework of intelligent cities, created in the shadow of the revolutionary evolution that the new information technologies are having.

Salud Ruiz
2 days ago
Salud Ruiz
Smart City Expert

HOP Ubiquitous among the 10 chosen in the worldwide tender Select4cities to design the Smart Cities in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Antwerp.

Jose Suarez
23 hours ago
Jose Suarez
Smart City Expert

Believe it or not, the parking industry is getting smarter. For cities hoping to integrate more smart technologies into their infrastructure, smart parking is a brilliant way to monitor, manage, and monetize parking. As automated vehicles go from vision to reality, smart parking will become increasingly more necessary.

One firm, IPS Group, has a solution. This smart parking firm has an all-in-one package solution for Smart Parking that tackles deployment from stem to stern. A comprehensive, fully-integrated Smart Parking platform that covers in-vehicle payment, parking enforcement management, permit management, mobile apps, metering, and data management to help cities better manage and understand its parking infrastructure.

LABCITIES
2 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Traffic systems in today cities have grown organically over the past decades, focusing at one time on individual traffic, then on public transport, sometimes on bicycles, seldom on pedestrians. This continuous shift of priorities has often led to road networks and traffic controls that are ill suited for all road users at once: the individual cars are lacking green waves because of public transport priority schemes, the trams and buses are stuck in traffic and not able to reach “their” green, the bicycles have maybe their own tracks but still need to stop at every intersection, and pedestrians have to wait long minutes at red-lights to cross the wide, car-friendly boulevards. At the same time the city population and thus the overall traffic demand is skyrocketing, creating even more stress for each and every traffic system and laying bare their faults and weaknesses.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Open data platforms and the desire of a new generation of leaders are helping to transform many “dumb,” or developing, cities across the world into smart ones.

Transportation was one of the first areas companies focussed on, resulting in the launch of apps such as Citymapper, which have made navigating cities much easier.

With all this data, you’d think it would be easy for companies to help solve city-wide problems? Not always.

LABCITIES
5 days ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

In the not-so-distant future, smart cities will weave the Internet of Things (IoT) and interconnected devices into existing technology infrastructure to bring entire communities online. Singapore, for example, recently launched its Smart Nation program, deploying citywide sensors and monitors to collect data on everyday living. Using an online platform dubbed Virtual Singapore, the city-state plans to use the information to improve livability and enhance government services.

But like all things digital, smart city networks have the potential to be breached by malevolent intruders. In Ukraine, hackers targeted a power grid and took an entire city's substations offline, leaving thousands of residents without power. Cybercriminals can also disrupt emergency response systems. In Texas, hackers triggered all of Dallas' emergency sirens, eventually prompting government officials to shut down the city's security system.

Bringing cities online invites a new type of threat that most government agencies are unprepared for. From traffic lights to power grids, smart cities are full of entry points that could fall victim to hackers' exploits. As cities design their digital future, government agencies need to prioritize cybersecurity protocols to mitigate attacks that have the potential to cripple entire communities.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

What challenges do smart city leaders struggle with in their smart city initiatives? And could it be that many of the challenges in any city, have already ben tackled in any city somewhere else in the world? In other words, what can cities learn form other cities? In the video below, recorded at the New York Smart City Expo, these questions were asked to various City CIO’s and CTO’s.

Unlike countries, cities have less burdens to work together, learn from each other and share knowledge. And in oreder to be able to collaborate effectively, it is important to have a view of the challenges with which smart city leaders are dealing.

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