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Science fiction no more: The perfect city is under construction

Science fiction no more: The perfect city is under construction
Formula One car racing is the most viewed sport in the world. On any given race day, half a billion people — one-fourteenth of the globe — are watching it on TV. But it’s what they’re not seeing that wins races today: More than 300 sensors are implanted throughout each vehicle to monitor everything from air displacement to tire temperature to the driver’s heart rate. These data are continuously transmitted back to a control room, where engineers run millions of calculations in real time and tweak their driver’s strategy accordingly. Through this process, every last ounce of efficiency and performance is wrung out of each car. And so it will be with cities like PlanIT Valley, currently being built from scratch in northern Portugal. “We saw an opportunity … to go create something that was starting with a blank sheet,” said PlanIT Valley creator Steve Lewis, “thinking from a systems-wide process in the same way we would think about computing technologies.” But wait, there’s more!

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Engaging Citizens Through Games: San Jose, CA Budget Prioritization Games Like many city, state and national governments, the City of San Jose, CA, is facing a significant 2011-2012 budget deficit. In this first of three posts on how Innovation Games® can be used in to engage citizens and improve democratic processes, I will outline the plans for a specially designed Buy a Feature game that The Innovation Games® Company will be producing for approximately 100 San Jose neighborhood community leaders on Jan 29, 2011. My hope is that community leaders, motivated citizens and public service employees will find inspiration and ideas that they can leverage to create effective and meaningful conversations about the issues that shape our lives. I will also compare our approach to other games and puzzles that have been created to address similar problems, such as the NY Times Budget Puzzle, the LA Times California Budget Balancer and the Next10 Budget Challenge. Which sounds easy.

Will that Starbucks last? - Dream City Everyone knows that cities like New York, Boston and Chicago have flipped the script over the past couple of decades, turning richer and whiter as their surrounding suburbs grow more diverse. Today, you’re more likely to hear Farsi and Thai spoken in the sprawling cul-de-sacs outside of Atlanta than you are in many parts of the Starbucks-soaked city center itself. Exactly how this happened, however, doesn’t get as much ink. We just assume that a lot of the kids who watched “Friends” in the ’90s decided they’d like to engage in witty repartee at Central Perk.

PlanIT Valley - the new smart city in Portugal! Date of release : 05/16/2012 Format : News feed 150,000 inhabitants will be able to live in PlanIT Valley. What’s this city’s special feature? Over 100 million sensors will be installed so that the city can “adapt” according to its inhabitants! Living PlanIT - Cisco Collaborates with Living PlanIT to Develop a Sustainable, Intelligent and Connected Community in Portugal Paredes, Portugal – June 28, 2010 Cisco today announced the signing of a strategic Letter of Intent ("LOI") with Living PlanIT, the leading urban technology company that enables intelligent sustainable urban development and operations. The LOI sees the expanded collaboration of two visionary companies with complementary skills, capabilities, technologies, and solutions to create smart, sustainable communities of the future. The strategic collaboration builds on a shared vision of sustainable urbanization, Cisco® Smart+Connected Communities architectures, and Living PlanIT's technology and is to be applied and advanced in the development and operations of PlanIT Valley, which is a next generation intelligent sustainable community in the Municipality of Paredes in northern Portugal, and a Portuguese Project of National Importance ("PIN").

Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk? Wikimedia Commons Photo Reading Tom Vanderbilt’s series on the crisis in American walking, I noticed something about the cities with the highest “walk scores.” They’re all liberal. Detroitism What does “ruin porn” tell us about the motor city, ourselves, other American cities? Photograph by Yves Marchan and Romain Meffre courtesy Steidl. Red Dawn 2, the forthcoming sequel to the nineteen eighties B-movie about a Soviet occupation of America, was shot last year in downtown Detroit. A long-abandoned modernist skyscraper coincidentally undergoing demolition served as a backdrop for battle scenes between American guerrillas and the Communist occupiers, now Chinese. For weeks, Chinese propaganda posters fluttered in the foreground of the half-destroyed office building, whose jagged entrails were visible through the holes opened by the wrecking ball. A pedestrian routinely bumped into Asian-American extras with Michigan accents and fake Kalashnikovs, while a parking garage played the role of a Communist police station.

Doorstep pick-up, fair fare to redefine autorickshaws - Home Updated: Mon, Nov 07 2011. 11 53 AM IST Chennai: When Hemant Jain quit his logistics job in 2009 to start a dial-an-autorickshaw service, he wasn’t expecting Rickshawale’s October launch to coincide with a showdown between the Maharashtra government and Mumbai’s auto drivers over accusations of tampering with meters to inflate fares. While autorickshaws are ubiquitous on Indian roads, they are regarded as a necessary evil because every trip is fraught with the expectation of a haggle over the fare at the end of the journey. Image makeover: Radio Tuk Tuk’s Sulabh Mehra with his fleet in Gurgaon. The company hopes to lower costs by shrinking fuel wastage from driving around looking for customers.

Rust Belt chic: Declining Midwest cities make a comeback - Dream City More than any other city in America, Cleveland is a joke, a whipping boy of Johnny Carson monologues and Hollywood’s official set for films about comic mediocrity. But here’s what else is funny: According to a recent analysis, the population of downtown Cleveland is surging, doubling in the past 20 years. What’s more, the majority of the growth occurred in the 22-to-34-year-old demo, those coveted “knowledge economy” workers for whom every city is competing. Pittsburgh, too, has unexpectedly reversed its out-migration of young people. Crowdsourcing road congestion data This post is the latest in an ongoing series about how we harness the data we collect to improve our products and services for our users. - Ed. What if you could do a little something to improve the world during your daily drive to work? Here are a few ideas: tell everybody in the city when you're stuck in slow-moving traffic; warn the drivers on the freeway behind you that they should consider an alternate route; tell the people still at home that they should spend another ten minutes reading the morning news before they leave for work; tell your city government that they might want to change the timing of that traffic light at the highway on-ramp. Of course, you can't just get on the phone and call everybody, and your one traffic report from your one spot on the road might not help much anyway. If you use Google Maps for mobile with GPS enabled on your phone, that's exactly what you can do.

The Ghost Station Volokolamskaya This abandoned station is often called “a ghost station”. During construction of the section Oktyabrsk field – Planernaya, under the airfield of Tushino they built a standard three-span station. But when the section started its work in 1975, Volokalamskaya was not listed with other stations. Forgotten in the Past: Nikulino Mine The Nikulino mine is the largest one in the coal field of the Moscow Region. The coal mined there had a high ash content equal to 30-40%. The underground relief in the mine was 50-70 workers. 30-40 workers mined coal and others only provided mining. The direct places of mining were 150 m deep underground.

Urban entertainment districts: Blocks where no one has fun If you took all the clichés about horrible urban design and shoved them into 75 acres, you’d probably end up with something pretty close to Dallas’ Victory Park. A pre-planned billion-dollar collection of imposing hyper-modern monumental structures, high-end chain stores, enormous video screens, expensive restaurants, a sports arena and tons of parking, completely isolated from the rest of the city by a pair of freeways, Victory Park is like the schizophrenic dream of some power-hungry capitalist technocrat. Or in this case, his son’s. The — neighborhood? development?