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Sustainable cities must look beyond city limits

Sustainable cities must look beyond city limits | The P2P Daily | Scoop.it

"City leaders aspiring to transform their cities into models of sustainability must look beyond city limits and include in their calculation the global flow of goods and materials into their realm, argue researchers in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences journal Ambio."

 

Interesting analysis: if we look at the total footprint of cities, how sustainable are they really? Is urbanisation really the key to future sustainability? And what about the social sustainability of cities in a world of increasing inequality?


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Modeling reveals significant climatic impacts of megapolitan expansion

Modeling reveals significant climatic impacts of megapolitan expansion | The P2P Daily | Scoop.it

According to the United Nations' 2011 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, global urban population is expected to gain more than 2.5 billion new inhabitants through 2050. Such sharp increases in the number of urban dwellers will require considerable conversion of natural to urban landscapes, resulting in newly developing and expanding megapolitan areas. Could climate impacts arising from built environment growth pose additional concerns for urban residents also expected to deal with impacts resulting from global climate change?

 

Contrary to some sustainability thinkers (most of them brought up in cities, I suppose) this study rightly questions further urbanisation as the path towards a more sustainable world.


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A Real Internet Of Things For The Developing World (And Burning Man)

A Real Internet Of Things For The Developing World (And Burning Man) | The P2P Daily | Scoop.it

Aria has a grand idea: creating an Internet-like network of autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs)  that could one day allow someone to make a one-to-one sale with anyone in the world or send medication quickly to where it’s needed most, simply by delivering goods on a flying autonomous vehicle to its destination. But before Aria (that’s the name of Matternet’s open-source group) does that, it’s teaming up with ReAllocate--an organization that’s building a network of designers and engineers who want to use their expertise to work on humanitarian issues--for an experimental project at Burning Man (if Aria can secure tickets; that’s still up in the air).

 

After the Burning Man pilot, ReAllocate plans to bring the shipping container project, dubbed "Startup Country," to Oakland to create a portable kitchen for food entrepreneurs. "We’re transforming shipping containers into innovation centers," says Dr. Mike North, the founder of ReAllocate. "We want to take them into the developing world, bring people from the community in, and facilitate them developing their own social enterprises."

 

As with the Burning Man project, Aria can use these shipping containers in the developing world as ground stations where it can swap batteries and payload. "The ground stations are like the routers of the Internet. They can extend range and capacity of the drones," explains Arturo Pelayo, the co-founder of Aria.


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Sensor networks in SF and LA eliminate the search for parking spots | ExtremeTech

Sensor networks in SF and LA eliminate the search for parking spots | ExtremeTech | The P2P Daily | Scoop.it
By placing magnetic sensors underneath parking spots, drivers in San Francisco can check for available spaces in real time on their smartphones.

 

According to Technology Review, as many as a third of cars on the road in urban areas are circling the block to find a parking spot. This obviously slows down other cars on the road, leads to huge amounts of unnecessary pollution, and more accidents. “Circling drivers are distracted drivers,” says Jay Primus, who manages SFpark. “They’re much more likely to hit pedestrians, bicyclists, and other cars, and as they search for parking spots, making frequent turns and making frequent stops, they can cause unpredictable delays to the transit system.”

 

Sensor-based smart parking systems, then, could herald a huge advance for car-based transportation systems. Over in Los Angeles, which is also building a smart parking system, researchers found that a single neighborhood of 15 blocks clocked up an additional 350,000 miles every year by spending three minutes looking for a parking spot. The problem in LA is different from San Francisco: In LA, there are plenty of spare spaces, but because of sprawl and the size of the blocks, there’s a risk of having to drive a long distance to find a spot. These sensor networks will allow you to push a button on your smartphone and be directed to the closest spot.


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Modeling reveals significant climatic impacts of megapolitan expansion

Modeling reveals significant climatic impacts of megapolitan expansion | The P2P Daily | Scoop.it

According to the United Nations' 2011 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, global urban population is expected to gain more than 2.5 billion new inhabitants through 2050. Such sharp increases in the number of urban dwellers will require considerable conversion of natural to urban landscapes, resulting in newly developing and expanding megapolitan areas. Could climate impacts arising from built environment growth pose additional concerns for urban residents also expected to deal with impacts resulting from global climate change?

 

Contrary to some sustainability thinkers (most of them brought up in cities, I suppose) this study rightly questions further urbanisation as the path towards a more sustainable world.


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‘Smart Cities’ On The Increase, Despite Obstacles And Risks | Risk Watchdog

The establishment of ‘smart cities’ globally is being driven by the growing need to augment/automate a wide range of legacy productivity, distribution, and consumption platforms. Current and forecast population growth and urbanisation trends demand the creation of hundreds of new cities – or new communities within existing cities – over the next couple of decades, and this is an ideal time to develop, test and implement new technologies to replace outmoded and inefficient platforms.

 

[...]

 

But, security and data privacy are treated as an after-thought. Somebody else’s problem, effectively, according to several people I spoke to. This is worrying if the majority of systems are to be routinely deeply interconnected in the future. A simple virus could shut off the national grid, crash aircraft, or send nuclear reactors critical. A forthcoming BMI Special Report will look at the development of the ‘Internet Of Things’ and, in particular, at the risks associated with making all critical systems too interdependent.


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