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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. “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! Cities are more than the sum of their parts because it’s not their parts that make them great. The lesson? Related:  Cities AI .. gestion des villes

Au Portugal, la ville intelligente c'est pour maintenant La ville «intelligente et douée de sensation» est pour bientôt. D’ici 2015, la PlanIT Valley, une cité de 150.000 habitants devrait sortir de terre au Portugal. Sa particularité? Près de 100 millions de capteurs seront disséminés dans toutes ses infrastructures, permettant de moduler presque tous les aspects de la vie de ses habitants, explique le site d’information Salon. Le projet, chiffré à 25 milliards d’euros, prévoit de relier chaque capteur en réseau à un ordinateur central dénommé UOS et construit en partenariat avec CISCO, contrôlant la ville avec le minimum d’interventions humaines possible. Les promoteurs expliquent que cette technologie sera mise au service de l'écologie. Concrètement, l’UOS gérera de façon automatique la plupart de la PanIT Valley. L’omniprésence des capteurs dans la vie des habitants pose cependant des problèmes éthiques.

A plea for beauty: a manifesto for a new urbanism - Society and Culture AEI’s new Society and Culture Outlook will examine important ideas in areas such as architecture, art, literature, music, and philosophy that are outside today’s front-page news. Subscribe to this series A plea for beauty: a manifesto for a new urbanism Download PDF Our culture is a culture of cities, and without cities we could not conceivably have enjoyed the enormous scientific, economic, and political advances of the Enlightenment. Key points in this Outlook: The decline of American cities, which saps the nation’s social, cultural, economic, and political vitality, is due largely to the ugliness of their centers.Neither market solutions nor centralized master planning can save our cities.Urban renewal depends on attracting the middle class with the kind of beauty that flourishes in cities and obeying aesthetic side constraints that create a sense of settlement. When it comes to the difficult problems faced by our ever-growing societies, conservatives tend to favor market solutions.

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 LOI between Cisco and Living PlanIT builds on an earlier Memorandum of Understanding aimed at bringing more robust solutions to world markets, building upon the two companies' technologies and shared vision. Highlights / Key Facts Cisco shares a common vision with Living PlanIT that cities of the future require urban services to be delivered more innovatively and managed more efficiently using technology that enables new models of managed and hosted services within public-private partnerships. Executive quotes: About Cisco Systems About Living PlanIT

Burying Bits of the City: Hong Kong Underground Several months ago we looked at a network of artificial caves being built beneath Singapore that will, upon completion, extend the city's energy infrastructure under the Pacific seabed; and, back in 2010, we took a very brief look at huge excavations underneath Chicago, courtesy of a feature article in Tunnel Business Magazine. Now, according to the South China Morning Post, civil engineers in Hong Kong are exploring the possibility of developing large-scale underground spaces—artificial caves—for incorporation into the city's existing infrastructure. In the full text of the article, available online courtesy of Karst Worlds, we read that the Hong Kong government "is moving towards burying bits of the city—the unsightly ones—in underground caverns, freeing up more land for housing and economic development." [Image: From the Enhanced Use of Underground Space in Hong Kong]. [Image: From the Enhanced Use of Underground Space in Hong Kong; view bigger].

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. This is a great start. I’ll explain the selection and design of the games shortly.

"City Water for All" by Peter Brabeck-Letmathe Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space VEVEY, SWITZERLAND – How many people in the world’s towns and cities can drink the water in their tap without risking their health? The answer is probably impossible to determine. Indeed, the United Nations uses the term “improved” sources of water to describe what is supplied in many urban areas around the world. Unfortunately, “improved” does not always mean “clean” or “safe.” The 2012 update of the World Health Organization’s report Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation estimates that at least 96% of urban dwellers in emerging economies like China, India, Thailand, and Mexico have access to “improved” sources of water. Visit any major city in an emerging economy, from Mexico City to Mumbai, and you will be hard pressed to find anyone who believes that the water piped into their homes is fit to drink. It doesn’t have to be like this. With a low-key but firm management style, Chan began to turn things around.

(1) Dificultés de circulation en zone urbaines les solutions existes "Intelligent Urban Design" by Esther Dyson Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space NEW YORK – Two months ago, I was introduced to a start-up called CityMart, a for-profit marketplace dedicated to helping vendors and city managers to find one another – and to spreading municipal innovations outside of their home turf. This month, in Thailand, I met Jonathan Hursh, who runs Compassion for Migrant Children (soon to be renamed), which focuses on migrant populations – adults and children with few resources and few rights – in the slums that surround almost every large city in the world. In mid-May, I'll be attending the New Cities Summit in Paris, a three-day forum focused on the future of cities. Cities matter, as they always have, but now more of the world is starting to take notice of their problems and possibilities. Most cities have grown through evolution, from unpremeditated beginnings. And, as we are seeing worldwide nowadays, national governments are difficult to overturn and also difficult to (re)build.

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. But Rickshawale and other similar ventures across India could have sparked the beginning of a makeover for autorickshaws. Any perceived improvement could help deter the inclination of the government to increase supervision. “The complaints about autowallahs harassing passengers and misbehaving are increasing and so we need to set up a central control room to curb this problem,” said A.K.

"Self and the City" by Avner de-Shalit Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space BEIJING – What is the big story of our age? It depends on the day, but if we count by centuries, then surely humanity’s urbanization is a strong contender. True, cities cannot provide the rich sense of community that often characterizes villages and small towns. Pride in one’s city has a long history. Yet the differences between, say, Beijing and Jerusalem, suggest that cities do have such an ethos. Or consider Montreal, whose residents must navigate the city’s tricky linguistic politics. Hong Kong is a special case, where the capitalist way of life is so central that it is enshrined in the constitution (the Basic Law). Paris, on the other hand, has a romantic ethos. In fact, many cities have distinctive identities of which their residents are proud. Chinese cities seek to counter uniformity via campaigns to recover their unique “spirit.” Urban pride can also prevent extreme nationalism.

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.

Islands on land could make towns tsunami-proof - tech - 15 February 2012 Video: Artificial islands could shield against tsunamis Elevated land-based islands could protect people living in low-lying areas from tsunamis – and archipelagos of them could form entire towns LIKE giant spacecraft that have just touched down, they give the countryside an otherworldly look. Elevated land-based islands are what one architect is proposing for the Tōhoku region of north-east Japan, the area that was devastated by last March's magnitude 9 earthquake and the mega-tsunamis it triggered. Keiichiro Sako of Sako Architects in Tokyo has created a blueprint in which groups of these islands form entire towns. Tōhoku Sky Village is not just an architect's flight of fancy: one municipality in the affected region is making moves towards building one in its locality and others could follow. Most islands will be used for residential purposes, with between 100 and 500 houses and apartments. Critics point to the complex issue of how the reconstruction will be funded. More from the web

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