Policy directives in several nations are focusing on the development of smart cities, linking innovations in the data sciences with the goal of advancing human well-being and sustainability on a highly urbanized planet. To achieve this goal, smart initiatives must move beyond city-level data to a higher-order understanding of cities as transboundary, multisectoral, multiscalar, social-ecological-infrastructural systems with diverse actors, priorities, and solutions. We identify five key dimensions of cities and present eight principles to focus attention on the systems-level decisions that society faces to transition toward a smart, sustainable, and healthy urban future.
Meta-principles for developing smart, sustainable, and healthy cities Anu Ramaswami, Armistead G. Russell, Patricia J. Culligan, Karnamadakala Rahul Sharma, Emani Kumar
From the visionary bestselling author Parag Khanna comes a bracing and authoritative guide to a future shaped less by national borders than by global supply chains, a world in which the most connected powers—and people—will win.
Liz Rykert's insight:
Taken to the global scale Parag Khanna describes the future of the world not a group of sovereign states but one of connected cities. Collective investment in the infrastructure that connects us has led to powerful local regions that are now finding peace and prosperity through being connected to one another (think Southeast Asian Countries) rather than fighting over borders. Watch the TED talk - kind of like Collective Impact on steroids.
The availability of big data on human activity is currently changing the way we look at our surroundings. With the high penetration of mobile phones, nearly everyone is already carrying a high-precision sensor providing an opportunity to monitor and analyze the dynamics of human movement on unprecedented scales. In this article, we present a technique and visualization tool which uses aggregated activity measures of mobile networks to gain information about human activity shaping the structure of the cities. Based on ten months of mobile network data, activity patterns can be compared through time and space to unravel the "city's pulse" as seen through the specific signatures of different locations. Furthermore, the tool allows classifying the neighborhoods into functional clusters based on the timeline of human activity, providing valuable insights on the actual land use patterns within the city. This way, the approach and the tool provide new ways of looking at the city structure from historical perspective and potentially also in real-time based on dynamic up-to-date records of human behavior. The online tool presents results for four global cities: New York, London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
Visualizing signatures of human activity in cities across the globe Dániel Kondor, Pierrick Thebault, Sebastian Grauwin, István Gódor, Simon Moritz, Stanislav Sobolevsky, Carlo Ratti
The world is changing at an ever-increasing pace. And it has changed in a much more fundamental way than one would think, primarily because it has become more connected and interdependent than in our entire history. Every new product, every new invention can be combined with those that existed before, thereby creating an explosion of complexity: structural complexity, dynamic complexity, functional complexity, and algorithmic complexity. How to respond to this challenge? And what are the costs?
Responding to complexity in socio-economic systems: How to build a smart and resilient society? Dirk Helbing
These days everyone is familiar with some type of network – whether that's their professional network on LinkedIn, their social network on Facebook, or the informal web of relationships within your local community. But there's a distinct difference between a network as a structure of relationships and a network as a
In adopting data-driven practices, leaders must avoid the temptation to act in a top-down manner. Instead, they should design and implement programs in ways that engage community members directly in the work of social change.
A Five Year study released Oct 29 looking at work in 7 communities that sought to connect people in social networks to build community capital.Here is quick summary of the key findings:
"Social relationships have a value. The activities and research presented in this report demonstrate that through working with communities this value can be grown by connecting people to one another in their local areas. We argue that investing in interventions which build and strengthen networks of social relationships will generate four kinds of social value or ‘dividend’ shared by people in the community:
1. A wellbeing dividend. Our research suggests that social connectedness correlates more strongly with wellbeing than social or economic characteristics such as long term illness, unemployment or being a single parent.
2. A citizenship dividend. There is latent power within local communities that lies in the potential of relationships between people, and it can be activated through the methods that we advocate in this paper.
3. A capacity dividend. Concentrating resources on networks and relationships, rather than on the ‘troubled’ individual as an end-user can have beneficial effects which ripple out through social networks, having positive effects on people’s children, partners, friends and others.
4. An economic dividend. There is evidence that investing in interventions which build social relationships can improve employability, improve health (which has positive economic impacts) and create savings in health and welfare expenditure."
Network analysis — the mathematical analysis of relationships between elements or actors in a complex system — has become popular among transportation planners and spatial analysts, but its use remains relatively limited among architects and urban designers, whose day-to-day work demands more visioning than analysis. Now, researchers at the joint MIT-SUTD International Design Center (IDC) have created a free network analysis plugin for Rhinoceros 3-D modeling software, one of the most popular software platforms among architects and urban designers. The new Urban Network Analysis (UNA) plugin enables urban planners and architects to describe spatial patterns of cities using mathematical network analysis methods.
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