Worldwide 55 percent of all people live in cities. They cover 4 percent of the landsurface, use 67 percent of all energy that is produced and are responsible for 70 percent of the emission of greenhouse gasses. Cities are not only the most important economic centres of the world, their political power is also increasing. Observers believe that growing sustainability will result in the first place from policies issues by the world’s largest cities instead of national governments.
In some countries a relief, indeed. In order to express their intentions, many cities showcase themselves with adjectives such as ‘smart’, resilient’, sustainable’, ‘sharing’ and the like. These predicates refer to results that already have been accomplished, however small, but they express their mission for the...
History is filled with urban utopias. A very recent one is PlanIT Valley, a dreamed smart city in Portugal near Porto. My interest was awakened from the first moment I heard about it, despite of my skepticism of ‘greenfield’ smart cities in general, which I explained elsewhere. The people behind it – Steve Lewis in the first place – believed that their Emerald City would make the difference: Carbon neutral buildings thanks to an extensive and centrally controlled sensor-network, lower construction costs because of new building techniques and autonomous cars to enable sustainable traffic. Their dream seemed genuine, unlike similar claims from large tech-companies like IBM, Cisco, and Siemens who went for the fast money in the first place: Smart city play is a $36 billion business opportunit...
There is no place in the world where all residents share the same level of prosperity, or where this prosperity has been achieved in a sustainable or just manner. Therefore, the question is what kind of prosperity is achievable for citizens around the world without destroying the environment and harming the prospects for a decent life of fellow men and future generations?
In this essay I will look for an answer. The doughnut principle proposed by Kate Raworth (on the photo above) is a promising starting-point, hence the title chosen. I will try to avoid the hypocrisy of a well-fed Western man who advocates a reduction in consumption for sustainability, because billions of people are hungry or poor and dream of some wealth. Moreover, they are not the main polluters.
The social origin of...
Hangzhou, a city with 21 million residents in China, 170 km southwest of Shanghai is a good example of a smart city, working hard to get smarter. Hangzhou has been declared the biggest beneficiary of mobile internet social services through the Chinese government’s Internet Plus initiative for smart cities for 2016.
But the city is not doing this alone, it has the help of one of the largest companies in the world, Alibaba, which has its headquarters in the city. The Chinese government is helping cities by including big companies in all their government programmes, like the creation of smart cities.
Alibaba and 13 other companies are now working with the local government on public private partnerships (PPP) to create smart service delivery systems for the city. Some examples:
The all know them, traffic jams. Cause for stress, loss of money and time, and extra carbon dioxide emissions. This is an area where smart technology really can make our lives easier. The city of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (USA) is pioneering with smart traffic technology in combination with Artificial Intelligence.
Pittsburgh cuts down travel time by a quarter and traffic jams by 40 percent using radar sensors and cameras at every light to recognize traffic activity. The data coming from the sensors is used by Artificial Intelligence to streamline the traffic in the most intelligent and optimal way by reacting to the traffic conditions in real time.
The system used is called Surtrac, a startup founded by Carnegie Mellon professor of robotics Stephen Smith. As of 2016, Surtrac is instal...
The world is getting more and more urbanized. By 2040, 65 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. 1.3 million people move into cities every day. These are reasons why many city governments are working on smart city initiatives. But what is the anatomy of a smart city really?
With the combination of low power sensors, wireless networks, and web-and mobile based applications, smart cities have arrived. Connected cities are becoming a platform for innovation.
Below all information is categorized in this nice infographic from Postscapes. It tells you what is driving the need to establish smart cities, how smart city concepts and projects are different in the developing world, and what technologies and systems are needed to make them a reality.
The 19th century was ...
Smart city’ is becoming a buzzword faster and faster. Many people talk about it, but what makes a city ‘smart’? What activities have to be undertaken to fall under the umbrella of smart city initiatives? The best way is to explain this by giving examples. See below some examples of Singapore, Dubai and Barcelona. And how smart is your city?
Cities are becoming smarter by the year. With the enormous increase of new and better technologies, cities have more possibilities to use this in their operations. Some area’s in which cities can benefit from technology are:
Big Data, driver of smart cities
One driver of s...