Parking Today Magazine and Parking Resource Center
As today’s technology gives people the ability to work more quickly, powerfully and efficiently, it’s now beginning to do the same for our cities. “Smart Cities” projects are underway in Europe, Asia and other areas worldwide, and are making important strides in dealing with urban issues such as noise, lighting, air quality, waste management, infrastructure, traffic, and, yes, parking.
In the case of parking solutions, wireless sensor networks can be deployed along with actuators, cameras and displays to gather data and communicate information to citizens. The benefits are easy to understand: both for the consumer and for the municipality.
The sensor nodes themselves are prime examples of sustainable, low-energy consumption “smart” devices. They rely on little power, and their communication protocols have been designed for long-term usage.
Such low maintenance makes it possible to deploy networks with hundreds of nodes relatively easily, giving cities the opportunity to ramp up smart parking solutions with widespread coverage and to add new services without the need to interrupt the network.
Smart parking is just one application enabled by this Spanish company's Waspmote wireless sensor technology: It is allied with more than 2,000 developers and has pilot smart city projects going on in more than 75 countries.
Academics are often characterized as pedants, focusing on trivial details and missing the big picture. As with most stereotypes there is an element of tru
Hugh Aldridge thinks that research (validation and ideation) should be an essential part of any smarter city project -- to evaluate impacts, qualify benefits and bring an independent voice to the matter.
He says that universities as local employers and as corporate citizens are in a unique position to contribute to realizing a city’s vision to be smart, sustainable and successful. Their particular combination of assets – buildings, roads, parks, etc. – with trained researchers and with their students, a ready and willing population of research ‘subjects’ and participants makes them an asset that a city and its partners can leverage to develop, demonstrate and evaluate new approaches to city management.
Hugh Aldrige is the Director of the Cities Initiative at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, a research institute of the University of California, Berkeley.
Jan Gehl, founding partner of Gehl Architects, shared his vision for people-friendly cities on Future Cities radio today. Read on, and listen in!
Gehl is probably one of the foremost proponents of public spaces in the world, he was quick to clarify an important point: Cities should not focus on public spaces, but on people's behavior.
The article, video and live chat in Future Cities takes a look at how strong public policies are putting "people" back into planning, in cities such as Copenhagen, New York, Los Angeles and even Moscow.
Experts say that the intelligent highway will save more lives than seat belts, airbags, and electronic stability control. For sheer lifesaving capacity, nothing in the history of the auto industry will come close to it.
I found the comments to Charles Murray's article to be a great read. The debate is on...
How many technologies does it take to change a city's light bulbs? One company is finding out.
In the Two Steps Forward blog on GreenBiz.com Sterling Hughes explains to executive editor Joel Makower that smart lighting solutions pay for themselves quickly. With "smart lighting," the cost savings inherent to reduced energy consumption are easy to measure. But the societal benefit to "smart lighting" is just as real, even if it is more difficult to quantify them.
Hughes points out that in Europe, “Road classifications are based on their traffic — the number of cars per minute or per hour. Based upon that it’s either called a highway, a thoroughfare, or a pedestrian roadway. The way dimming schemes work is, essentially, if the highway at 2 a.m. has only the traffic of a pedestrian roadway, you can de-rate the road to a pedestrian roadway in terms of your lighting level, which means you can reduce the light level by 50 percent, and therefore save a bunch of energy in the middle of the night.”
Equivalent standards don’t yet exist in the United States.
And then there are the societal benefits of smarter, more energy-efficient city lighting. “The light from LEDs is massively better,” says Hughes. “I didn’t really think they were anything that special before I started looking at street lights, but the light from LEDs can actually demonstrably reduce crime. In Los Angeles, it’s reduced crime by 15 percent. In Chattanooga, certain public parks have gone from three or four gang incidents a week to none.”
Suffice to say, such societal benefits need to be part of the calculation for cities investing in smart lighting systems. We know how to put monetary values to social benefit, from reduced law enforcement needs to higher property values and resulting property tax revenues, not to mention resident safety and satisfaction. They are as important as the reduced energy and maintenance costs.
“Cities don’t quantify the societal benefit,” Hughes acknowledges. “That’s one of the things you learn right away. There’s always some societal benefit that never gets captured.”
RE.WORK combines entrepreneurship, technology and science to solve some of the world's greatest challenges using emerging technology.
A new Smart Cities conference with a highly interactive format is taking place in London this year, on December 13, 2013. Speakers from around the world include Alicia Asin from Libelum, Christine Outram from City Innovation Group, Carlo Ratti from MIT's Senseable City Lab, Neil Spiller, Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Construction, University of Greenwich --with more to come.
Private and public entities are engaged in the rebuild of the city of Christchurch, aggregating data from public- and private assets, a sensor overlay, system integrator involvement, and not forgetting to create safeguards that ensure citizen privacy and protect other sensitive data.
Also: because data sets are managed through a unified data model, public entities, companies and citizens can innovate and improve...
Parisians have learned to love electric cars by sharing them. Since the late 2011 launch of the French capital’s Autolib car-sharing program, Parisians have taken its fleet of 1800 electric vehicles (EVs) on more than 2 million trips using 4000 dedicated charging points. That makes Paris one of the world’s EV meccas, with more battery-powered cars on the road and more charging points than nearly any other city.
"One of the main challenges facing cities is shaping an effective transition strategy which will accelerate the process of becoming a smart city. This requires, first and foremost, harnessing the power of the networks and technologies already in place and available...."
According to Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, director of IDC's Smart Cities Strategies program, cities implementing smart technology solutions may require up to a decade or more before realizing its full transformative potential.
“Today’s cities know they must tackle urban challenges through coordinated and focused investments that enable collaboration across departments and agencies, leverage existing assets, engage citizens and stakeholders and tackle long-standing problems.“
The result of ‘smart city’ initiatives will ultimately enable cities to attract businesses and citizens to build more vibrant city landscapes and competitive economies,” Yesner Clarke said.
As self-driving cars move from fantasy to reality, what kind of effect will they have on cities?
A research and urban prototyping project called Shuffle City investigates, and in the process, becomes a manifesto for a new kind of modern city--one that depends less on traditional public transportation like buses or light rail and more on creating a fleet of continuously moving automated vehicles to serve urban mobility needs.
Shuffle City looks at the new possibilities that could arise from cities transitioning to cars without drivers. If cars were put into some constant flow as a public good, and if people didn’t all have their own vehicles, there would be no need for the concrete wastelands and lifeless towers that serve as a parking infrastructure in the urban landscapes of car-centric cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles (Under the current ownership model, the average car spends 21 hours per day parked.)
The share of city space ruled by parking lots will shrink, making way for more green space, environmental buffers, workspace, housing, retail, and denser planning for more walkable cities...
The Internet of Things means "connecting the real world to the Internet," says David Gascon of Libelium. The areas of agriculture and farming give rise to new applications and use cases for sensors and data collection, to give efficiencies that weren't possible before.
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