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Designing the Urban Future: Smart Cities
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FUTURISTIC TECH > Smart cities - one solution for the planet's future?

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message 1: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments Am wondering if smart cities will be a way to improve people's quality of life around the world in future?

This from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_city A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets – the city’s assets include, but not limited to, local departments information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services. The goal of building a smart city is to improve quality of life by using technology to improve the efficiency of services and meet residents’ needs. ICT allows city officials to interact directly with the community and the city infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city, how the city is evolving, and how to enable a better quality of life. Through the use of sensors integrated with real-time monitoring systems, data are collected from citizens and devices - then processed and analyzed. The information and knowledge gathered are keys to tackling inefficiency.

Here's a map of a proposed smart city: http://viralvibes.net/wordpress/wp-co...

And here's a smart city being built in Mongolia: http://geographical.co.uk/places/citi...

message 2: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments China’s emerging ‘smart cities’ defy doomsayers -- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/busin...

message 3: by Harry (new)

Harry Whitewolf | 1736 comments James wrote: "China’s emerging ‘smart cities’ defy doomsayers -- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/busin..."

That article's not available to me - says I have to be a subscriber to read it.

message 4: by Harry (new)

Harry Whitewolf | 1736 comments If these Smart Cities are reliant on Smart Technology, there are a huge number of dangers associated with it:

Security risks:


Health risks:


...to name just two.

message 5: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments Harry wrote: "If these Smart Cities are reliant on Smart Technology, there are a huge number of dangers associated with it:

Security risks:


Yeah, but you'll be able to access Goodreads anywhere, anytime, Harry...it'll be like your mind IS Goodreads!

message 6: by Harry (new)

Harry Whitewolf | 1736 comments I spend too much time on here as it is!

message 8: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (Dzerzhinsky) This planet has no future.

message 9: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments Disagree, Feliks.

message 10: by Asterion (new)

Asterion (Yimsel) I always think tech is cool, but this is out of hand

message 11: by Melissa (last edited Jan 26, 2017 02:22PM) (new)

Melissa Holden | 1 comments Hi there,

I'm new to this group so first of all I'd like to say 'Hi'.

Below are two interesting articles that I'd like to share:



Anything with the word 'Smart' I'm weary of and try to avoid...

message 12: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (Dzerzhinsky) Agreed. Particularly so in the field of architecture or city planning.
There is nothing like the practitioners of these fields for misplaced optimism and detachment-from-reality. How many failures do they need before they realize they are obsolete?
They had their chance and they blew it. Housing projects in the '60s; then the debacle of New Orleans.

Industrialization, environmental downturn, technology, and economics have all runaway from them. American cities are fragile, all of them just barely hanging on; all of them teetering towards disaster. What do municipalities typically spend most of their money on? Sports stadiums!

The problem is that ambitious politicos are always looking for gee-whiz projects to groom their careers on, and these guys provide 'em. The fancier the better. But no really important work is ever done. 70% of the nation's bridges and tunnels need replacement. The entire friggin' Northeast power grid failed one August. Are they fixing any of these massive problems? Nope. Hum-drum engineering work is never sexy enough. So they apply band-aids, crow about money-saved, and 'wait for people to forget'. Until the next catastrophe.

These days, 'showcase' projects are even more pointless. No one even gives a damn anymore, where they live or how they live as long as they have wifi. Truly a population of flatlined, brain-dead, drones. Sitting around watching TV! From cradle to grave!

message 13: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments Dunno...cheap SMART phones are helping many in the Third World especially...And improving many lives in the West too, I'd argue.
In fact, smart phones may even go down as THE invention of our times.
Check out this article:
How Smartphones Revolutionized Society in Less than a Decade http://www.govtech.com/products/How-S...

So let's see what smart cities could do for us.

Not saying these technologies are all good, but they are definitely not all bad.

message 14: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (Dzerzhinsky) It's a point well-taken to not 'close the door' on new ideas. You're right to remind me.

But when I feel compelled to do just that is (I admit it) emphatically in these areas where billions of dollars are spent; and only spent to divert us down a dead-end. Fool's errands and personality-driven projects can be catastrophic. Waste on such a widespread scale is really criminal, because there's often times no chance to make up the loss. If you don't incrementally shore up your country's bridges when they've reached the end-of-life; then you start getting bridge failures and busloads of people dying. And then it costs so much more money to replace an entire bridge system rather than just carry out the scheduled repairs as you should have done.

In state & local government right now--these days more than ever--there's no end of 'whiz kid' ideas. But the way they are handled is staggeringly incompetent. I can name eminently sensible projects that were killed off at the root, simply because an incoming mayor didn't want the credit for the job going to the outgoing mayor. It is a 3-ring circus.

message 15: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier

A pioneering urban economist offers fascinating, even inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest invention and our best hope for the future.

America is an urban nation. More than two thirds of us live on the 3 percent of land that contains our cities. Yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, crime ridden, expensive, environmentally unfriendly... Or are they?

As Edward Glaeser proves in this myth-shattering book, cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in cultural and economic terms) places to live. New Yorkers, for instance, live longer than other Americans; heart disease and cancer rates are lower in Gotham than in the nation as a whole. More than half of America's income is earned in twenty-two metropolitan areas. And city dwellers use, on average, 40 percent less energy than suburbanites.

Glaeser travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Even the worst cities-Kinshasa, Kolkata, Lagos- confer surprising benefits on the people who flock to them, including better health and more jobs than the rural areas that surround them. Glaeser visits Bangalore and Silicon Valley, whose strangely similar histories prove how essential education is to urban success and how new technology actually encourages people to gather together physically. He discovers why Detroit is dying while other old industrial cities-Chicago, Boston, New York-thrive. He investigates why a new house costs 350 percent more in Los Angeles than in Houston, even though building costs are only 25 percent higher in L.A. He pinpoints the single factor that most influences urban growth-January temperatures-and explains how certain chilly cities manage to defy that link. He explains how West Coast environmentalists have harmed the environment, and how struggling cities from Youngstown to New Orleans can "shrink to greatness." And he exposes the dangerous anti-urban political bias that is harming both cities and the entire country.

Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and eloquent argument, Glaeser makes an impassioned case for the city's import and splendor. He reminds us forcefully why we should nurture our cities or suffer consequences that will hurt us all, no matter where we live.

Triumph of the City How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

message 18: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments What is smart city? - Definition from WhatIs.com - IoT Agenda https://internetofthingsagenda.techta...

message 19: by James, Group Founder (new)

James Morcan | 7753 comments Are Privacy Concerns Halting Smart Cities Indefinitely? https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielne...

message 20: by Iain (new)

Iain McKenzie (Iain_mckenzie) | 1578 comments Inside China's High-Tech Dystopia


message 21: by Iain (last edited Jan 27, 2019 12:56PM) (new)

Iain McKenzie (Iain_mckenzie) | 1578 comments Iain wrote: "Inside China's High-Tech Dystopia


It'll be interesting to see how the Chinese balance developments here, due to their reliance on manufacturing exports and having to meet a 4-6% GDP target to stave of social unrest(the biggest threat to the status quo in Beijing) and automation and AI having the potential to replace vast swathes of the human workforce in factory positions, while there is a current employment exodus underway from rural job positions to more urban based ones .

Is the long-term goal here to implement greater control while transforming the country into more of a internal consumer and service based economy than an export laden one?

message 22: by Iain (last edited Feb 01, 2019 02:35PM) (new)

Iain McKenzie (Iain_mckenzie) | 1578 comments The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy

The global economy is in crisis. The exponential exhaustion of natural resources, declining productivity, slow growth, rising unemployment, and steep inequality, forces us to rethink our economic models. Where do we go from here? In this feature-length documentary, social and economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin lays out a road map to usher in a new economic system.

A Third Industrial Revolution is unfolding with the convergence of three pivotal technologies: an ultra-fast 5G communication internet, a renewable energy internet, and a driverless mobility internet, all connected to the Internet of Things embedded across society and the environment.

This 21st century smart digital infrastructure is giving rise to a radical new sharing economy that is transforming the way we manage, power and move economic life. But with climate change now ravaging the planet, it needs to happen fast. Change of this magnitude requires political will and a profound ideological shift.


message 23: by Iain (new)

Iain McKenzie (Iain_mckenzie) | 1578 comments Future Cities and Transportation


message 24: by Iain (new)

Iain McKenzie (Iain_mckenzie) | 1578 comments Palmer Luckey Wants To Build A "Virtual" Border Wall

Palmer Luckey became a multi-millionaire selling VR company Oculus to Facebook. Now, his latest startup is looking to improve security at the US border using artificial intelligence.


message 25: by Iain (new)

Iain McKenzie (Iain_mckenzie) | 1578 comments Smart cities and artificial intelligence

On February 11, Brookings hosted a panel to discuss the future of AI in metropolitan areas, focusing on AI as a tool for integrating information, coordinating services, and improving leadership decision-making.


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