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Tomorrow's cities: Do you want to live in a smart city?

Tomorrow's cities: Do you want to live in a smart city?
How do you fancy living in a city with which you can interact? A city that acts more like a living organism, a city that can respond to your needs. Around the world such cities are already being built, from Masdar in Abu Dhabi to Songdo in South Korea. Now the chaotic city near you may be in line for a makeover. In the future everything in a city, from the electricity grid, to the sewer pipes to roads, buildings and cars will be connected to the network. Buildings will turn off the lights for you, self-driving cars will find you that sought-after parking space, even the rubbish bins will be smart. But how do we get to this smarter future. And is it a future we even want? Technology firms such as IBM, Siemens, Microsoft, Intel and Cisco are busy selling their software to solve a range of city problems, from water leaks to air pollution to traffic congestion. In total IBM has some 2,500 smarter cities projects around the world and has even trademarked the term "smarter cities". Citizen network Related:  ProgressMy ideal city

«Mars-500» project 4th of November 2011 is the finish of the experiment on simulation of a manned flight to Mars (“Mars-500” project). After the exit out of the experimental facility six crewmembers will be in observation regime (without a possibility to communicate with media), during which they will pass a thorough medical examination. Completion of the experiment and the crew exit out of the facility will be transmitted on-line through the satellite. Press-conference with the participation of crewmembers and the project management will be held on 8th of October 2011, at 12.00, in the conference-hall of Russian news and information agency “RIA-Novosti” (Moscow), and we invite media to this event. IBMP Press-service Today is the birthday of Alexander Smoleevskiy. 492th day of the experiment. The distance between the Earth and space vehicle is 72 700 km and the distance between space vehicle and Mars is 399 939 000 km. 485th day of the experiment. 478th day of the experiment. 471th day of the experiment.

Tomorrow's cities: What's it like to live in a smart city? As we head towards a new era of urbanisation - half of the world's population will live in cities by 2050 - the race is on to make our cities fit for purpose. Technology is playing a bigger role in helping to make city life run more smoothly, from networks of sensors that offer information about how traffic is flowing or where water pipes are leaking to apps designed to help citizens get the most out of their city. But what does it actually mean to live in a city overtaken by technology? And is it a future we even want? The BBC asked a range of experts to describe life in their own smart city. Anthony Townsend Image copyright Other Unlike the smart cities popping up in Asia and the Middle East, New York's digital transformation has almost gone without notice. But that doesn't mean you can't see them. To the trained eye, this hidden layer of intelligent infrastructure can be found on any street corner in Manhattan. Prof Carlo Ratti Image copyright Aurore Valade Julia Michaels

Exploring Los Angeles' forgotten stairways to the stars 18 August 2013Last updated at 20:02 ET By Zeb Soanes Los Angeles From the air, the hills of Silver Lake, peppered with bungalows, must look like a leafy game of Snakes and Ladders. Roads insinuate their way up and around the mountain slopes and connecting them all from the lowest to the highest are dozens of vertiginous stone staircases. These are the historic Los Angeles Stairs, hidden and unknown to most of the city's residents and visitors. I was on an early-morning hike between them with Charles Fleming, an LA Times editor who has spent years researching and mapping the stairways, originally as a form of convenient local exercise. For him they are civic treasures that lead the curious through unfamiliar neighbourhoods and their architectural treasures: historic homes where famous actors lived, celebrated screenplays were written and, as we were to discover, the stairs themselves have earned their place in cinema history as the location for an Oscar-winning comedy.

NASA Curiosity Rover To Drill First Martian Sandstone 'Windjana' : Science By Rebekah Marcarelli | Apr 27, 2014 02:48 PM EDT "NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has driven within robotic-arm's reach of the sandstone slab at the center of this April 23 view from the rover's Mast Camera. The rover team plans to have Curiosity examine a target patch on the rock, called "Windjana," to aid a decision about whether to drill there." (Photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) NASA's Curiosity rover is set to inspect a slab of sandstone that could be a potential drilling target. The rock could be the first drilling target that is not a mudstone, a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory news release reported. The stone was dubbed "Windjana," after a gorge located in Western Australia. The rover will inspect the rock using its camera and X-ray spectrometer and will also brush dust away from a segment of it. If chosen as a drilling site the rover will collect dust samples from deep within the rock and deliver them to onboard laboratory instruments.

The experiences of a young person from an urban area and a young person from a rural area | Society Liam Murphy, 17, Yardley, Birmingham What do you like about your area? Birmingham's really built up; there's a lot of different people and cultures. I love how you can just jump on a bus in two minutes and meet up with friends. What do you dislike? I suppose the crime. What things are there to do for young people? There's always something to do. How do you get around town? Birmingham and Solihull town centres are both about 20 minutes on the bus. What do you do at weekends and in the evenings? I go out with friends. Are binge drinking and drugs a problem in your area? I would never touch drugs and I rarely drink. What do you think it would be like to live in the countryside? I think I would hate living in the countryside. Are you worried about knife crime? You hear about stuff happening, but I haven't come across knife crime. Amie Hibbert, 18, Yeovil, Somerset I like the fact that there is a lot of greenery and grass everywhere. There isn't much to do around the area. I use the bus.

A City Family's Life in Wartime Syria It was a little after 11:30 P.M. when the first heart-piercing screech of incoming artillery crashed near the home where I was staying in the rebel-held city of Saraqeb, in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, in May. It was quickly followed by a second, then a third. Each seemed louder and closer than the last, amplified in a night that was black because of the lack of electricity in the neighborhood (it only comes for a few hours a day, if at all) and otherwise nearly silent, owing to the exodus of many families after a purported chemical-weapons attack on the city a few weeks earlier. For some two and a half years now, the sounds of war have become frighteningly humdrum in Syria, the overplayed soundtrack to the story of an ancient country that is coming apart, with at least a hundred thousand dead and its territory now a proxy battlefield for international rivalries. Hiss, whoosh, boom. She leaned against a vertical concrete support beam. “Don’t worry,” Abu Ibrahim said gently.

Could These Futuristic Buildings Really Change Human Behavior? Some of these buildings looks like something Godzilla stepped on or chewed and spat. But that sea garbage collector is beatiful and an amazing idea. Until it swallows an unsuspecting sea lion. I believe they thought about that. What about plankton? I don't think they gave it much thought at all, frankly. Basically, if so, the idea is great but the execution is shoddy. Plankton always get away through the cracks, the escape artists. Life in the city versus life in the country I have to be honest, life in Vienna is pretty great. Ok that's me being a bit British about it, life here is incredibly fun. Although I am originally a country girl (I come from a small English village), I am loving the city experience. There is so much to see and do and a never ending list of cool restaurants to try and places to explore. But last weekend I decided it was time to venture out of the city and into the Austrian countryside for once, which I had heard was beautiful. So, in search of rolling green fields and snow-capped mountains we hopped on a train to Innsbruck, a small city in the Tyrol area known for skiing. When we arrived in the city, the mountains were even closer, almost on top of us as Innsbruck is nestled in a valley. Even the center of the city is very different, with its narrow cobbled streets and decorated buildings that could have come straight out of a fairytale book. From up there, the views down into the valley were breathtaking.

Detroit becomes largest US city to file for bankruptcy 19 July 2013Last updated at 11:55 ET Michelle Fleury visited the abandoned Packard manufacturing plant, once producing luxury cars at the heart of Detroit's motor car industry Detroit may be gearing up for a battle with creditors the day after it became the largest US city ever to file for bankruptcy, with $18bn (£12bn) of debt. Creditors fear they will not be paid, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said, adding the city is "basically broke". Court papers filed on Thursday night listed 100,000 entities as creditors to the city. But unions have described the bankruptcy filing as a power grab. Detroit, once a symbol of US industrial power, has faced decades of decline. It is seeking protection from creditors who include public-sector workers and their pension funds. Detroit's problems stem from declining industry. Mayor Dave Bing has vowed that public services will keep running and wages for public workers will be paid. A new start? Continue reading the main story Detroit's fall is complete.

Mission to Mars Mars has a reddish-orange color caused by the iron-rich minerals in its soil. A fine-grained reddish dust blankets the planet and can be lifted into the atmosphere when blown by the wind. Martian dust storms range from small " dust devils " to an occasional spectacular event that shrouds the entire planet for months. One of the most striking features of Mars is Valles Marineris , a system of canyons located along the equator. Another spectacular feature of the Red Planet is Olympus Mons , the tallest volcano in the Solar System. One of the most exciting discoveries made at Mars is that liquid water once flowed across the planet's surface. Many regions of Mars consist of low-lying plains . Like other bodies in the Solar System, Mars has many impact craters that were formed by natural objects striking the planet. The polar regions of Mars contain stacks of finely-layered deposits up to several kilometers thick.