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Decoding how cities work: street level observations | Ciudades a escala humana:

Decoding how cities work: street level observations | Ciudades a escala humana: | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The promise of gathering the whole spectrum of information traces of city life and managing this amount of data dominates the new utopian views. This pursuit for a complete understanding of what happens in cities takes the form of a seductive approach to urban design and urban governance, and tries to take advantage of ubiquitous computing and situated technologies. Thus, the intersection of code and space emerges as a deterministic paradigm.

A new science of cities, as a sum up of quantitative predictions based on big data, self-called smart technologies and internet of things, ensures that everything will become predictable and every spot of the city will be scrutinized under a complex and multi-layered pattern of sensors and displays of any kind. To some extent, turning scientific knowledge into useful knowledge for understanding cities at macro and micro level seems to be a reasonable and plausible ambition. Geoffrey West, for example, gained attention thanks to one of those TED talks that inexplicably received enormous attention for its simplicity, insists in the predictability of certain factors that may be common to any urban reality in terms of population growth, mobility and crime using certain physical and natural sciences laws.

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The Programmable City
How is the city translated into software and data, and how does software reshape the city?
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Don’t forget ethics when mapping uncharted slums | Sci Dev Net

Don’t forget ethics when mapping uncharted slums | Sci Dev Net | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The Missing Maps Project, founded by a consortium including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), aims to develop basic maps of slums and other unmapped areas in the developing world to reveal infrastructure gaps and the source of diseases. The idea is to do this using information crowdsourced from local people.  But are ethics being given enough thought?

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Cork: Rebel county, smart city | CityMetric

Cork: Rebel county, smart city | CityMetric | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Everyone’s getting excited about smart cities these days. Often planned from scratch, these ultra-modern metropolises bristle with the latest innovations in technology: environmentally friendly buildings and infrastructure; computers that control many aspects of urban dwelling; wi-fi as ubiquitous as oxygen. The UAE and South Korea already have their own smart cities; China and India aren’t far behind. In Europe, meanwhile, the concept is taking hold and influencing the redevelopment of existing

 

But policy advisor and nation brand strategist Simon Anholt thinks all this smart city stuff is a waste of time. “It’s boring,” he says. “It’s the sort of discussion that may mean something to architects, planners or consultants but I’m sure conveys very little to most people who live in or visit cities.”

That might be why planners in the Irish city of Cork are trying something different. They liked the idea of the city being known as “smart”, but wanted to develop its reputation in a more lasting way. So instead of going for the hi-tech, impersonal route, they’re trying to build on the city’s existing assets – and take the meaning of "smart" in a different, more human direction.

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UK cities spend £23 million annually on IT | seven key principles for smart city investment | Arup

UK cities spend £23 million annually on IT | seven key principles for smart city investment | Arup | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

'Delivering the Smart City’, produced by Arup and UCL (University College London) on behalf of the Smart City Expo World Congress, analyses the spending patterns of eight major UK cities to gain an understanding of how much money cities are paying for technology, as well as considering whether this expenditure is ‘smart’.....

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Audi Urban Future Initiative: The City is blind, deaf, and dumb

Audi Urban Future Initiative: The City is blind, deaf, and dumb | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

A city can be compared to a living system with constantly shifting demands. In order to adapt to these demands, it needs sensors (eyes, ears, skin), controllers (brains), and actuators (hands and legs). The actuators for mobility are vehicles and transportation systems. In Mexico City we have plenty of them. But Mexico City is a city with very limited sensors and brains. The city is blind, deaf, and dumb. Mexico City functions more like a machine than like a living system and cannot adapt to the constantly changing demands of its inhabitants. ...

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Because there has been no data, information, knowledge used in creation and running of cities to date ... insultingly framed piece of fluff

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Google mines Gmail for big data gold | Medium

Google mines Gmail for big data gold | Medium | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

If we assume that a typical user receives just 5 to 10 non-spam messages per day, this means Gmail handles 2 trillion or more inbound messages per year. This rushing torrent of data is not simply dumped into millions of inboxes to sit passively until users take notice. Rather, it undergoes an extraordinary sequence of distinct data mining operations before it ever sees the light of a user inbox. Previously shrouded in secrecy, the existence of these processes has recently been revealed in a landmark class action lawsuit against Gmail. Their bizarre and colorful names are worthy of a spy thriller: Content OneBox, ICEbox, Nemo, Moonshine, Monarch, Borgmon, Starbox, Colossus, Panopticon, HappyHour, and Tigress, among others.

 

We don’t know exactly what every piece in this vast data mining machine does. But we know that its overarching purpose is to extract information from email content in order to build persistent user profiles and let Google target its ads with ever greater precision. ....

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Internet of Things as art: How sensors can transform public spaces - SVBJ

Internet of Things as art: How sensors can transform public spaces - SVBJ | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Future Cities Lab's CEO describes his approach to creating interactive artwork for public spaces. And in an entirely different approach, City Innovation Group's founder talks about what she learned by attaching sensors to trash floating down a city's aqueduct system.
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Philippe Andre's curator insight, Today, 2:49 AM

Artists and architects using IoT technology to transform our environment into art performance

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U.S. using fake cellphone towers on planes to gather data: WSJ | Reuters

U.S. using fake cellphone towers on planes to gather data: WSJ | Reuters | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An agency of the U.S. Justice Department is gathering data from thousands of cell phones, including both criminal suspects and innocent Americans, by using fake communications towers on airplanes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

 

The program run by the U.S. Marshals Service began operations in 2007 and uses Cessna planes flying from at least five major airports and covering most of the U.S. population, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the operations.

 

The planes use devices made by Boeing Co that mimic the cell phone towers used by major telecommunications companies and trick mobile phones into revealing their unique registration data, the report said. ...

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US privacy confidence at new low, survey indicates | BBC

US privacy confidence at new low, survey indicates | BBC | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The vast majority - 91% - of Americans believe that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies, according to a survey.

A further 80% also felt that Americans should be concerned about government surveillance, Pew Research suggested. ...

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Smart cities data standards released | Civil Service World

Smart cities data standards released | Civil Service World | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

BSI says that its new guide to data interoperability, PAS182, will make it easier for the public and private sector to share information to promote economic growth.

 

The company was commissioned to produce the document by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is aimed at city leaders – particularly policy developers within local government.

 

A statement from BSI said: “Data can transform the capability of a city, enabling the development of systems and services, and supporting informed decisions. ...

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Icon 138: Data - Can we outsmart the smart city?

Icon 138: Data - Can we outsmart the smart city? | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

From smart cities to mass surveillance, our December issue – out on 1 November – looks at the complex relationship between democracy and big data ...

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Solar-powered bike lanes, giant smart cities and super apps: The next generation of urban innovations

Solar-powered bike lanes, giant smart cities and super apps: The next generation of urban innovations | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
From solar-powered bike lanes and giant smart cities, to super apps that are making our transport systems that bit more efficient, the next generation of innovations for low carbon cities are here.
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Microsoft CityNext - the roadmap to a smart future | DCLG UK Authority

Microsoft CityNext - the roadmap to a smart future | DCLG UK Authority | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
A little over a year ago we launched CityNext, Microsoft’s people-focused future cities initiative, here in the UK. Since then we have seen tremendous success in helping local authorities up and down the country make their communities more liveable and sustainable places in which to live.
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Smart Cities: Contradicting Definitions and Unclear Measures by M Cavada, C Rogers, D Hunt - Liveable Cities

Smart Cities: Contradicting Definitions and Unclear Measures by M Cavada, C Rogers, D Hunt - Liveable Cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Cities are contemporary metropolises that concentrate human and social activity; engineered to support and develop the physical environment and the people within it, Smart cities, we are led to believe, are the immediate future, where smartness is perceived as a characterisation of advancements or digitalisation, in government, mobility and sustainability. Therefore it is not surprising that many organisations are marketing their smart solutions and products, often to a ubiquitous extent and so called smart cities are striving to outperform each other. But how are smart cities actually being defined and how is performance being measured in an era where there is increasing access to unprecedented amounts of foreseen data? This paper identifies the plethora of the smart city definitions and categories evidenced from the literature and shows that 'Smart cities' lacks a robust coherent definition, with many contradicting facts within what constitutes a smart vision. Notably, almost every attempt from organisations, the European Union or cities themselves has failed to define 'smart' in objective terms that can be accepted globally. Certainly, they all are negotiating with a range of descriptors and smart ways to improve the city. Even the UK's attempts to develop a clear definition and set of standards for smart cities (i.e. PAS 180 and PAS 182) appears to suffer from fundamental differences in how the semantic content of a 'smart' city is defined. This paper demonstrates the necessity for a single 'Smart Cities' definition that deals with both the physical and digital using shared parameter value(s) that can be adopted and scaled amongst different localities and within a range of urban contexts adjusting according to existing city condition(s) and vision(s) setting the paradigm for further innovative research in this area.

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Barcelona’s Smart City Ecosystem: A big investment in data-driven city management starts to pay off | MIT Technology Review

Barcelona’s Smart City Ecosystem: A big investment in data-driven city management starts to pay off | MIT Technology Review | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Gardeners making their rounds through Barcelona’s Parc del Centre del Poblenou these days are as likely to carry tablets as trowels. The city recently moved 178 of its irrigation points to an Internet-controlled system. While it is handy to manage watering at the keyboard instead of turning a knob on a pipe, much of the advantage is in the data that the new system sends back to a central software system the city has built. ....

 

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This Wearable Detects Pollution to Build Air Quality Maps in Real Time | WIRED

This Wearable Detects Pollution to Build Air Quality Maps in Real Time | WIRED | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Clarity is a small, keychain-sized wearable air pollution sensor aimed at tracking air quality in badly polluted places, like China.
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Smart cities will take many forms - Anthony Townsend in MIT Technology Review

Smart cities will take many forms - Anthony Townsend in MIT Technology Review | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Technology can make cities increasingly machine-like or more social and creative, says author Anthony Townsend. Both models can work.
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Big Data Companies Agree: Farmers Should Own Their Information | NPR

Big Data Companies Agree: Farmers Should Own Their Information | NPR | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Farmers depend on "Big Data" these days, but some worry the companies collecting information about their operations might misuse it. New privacy guidelines are supposed to protect farmers' interests.
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'Smart cities' are problematic | LSE Cities, Ricky Burdett | DW.DE

'Smart cities' are problematic | LSE Cities, Ricky Burdett | DW.DE | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
As a major conference on urban governance opens in Delhi, Ricky Burdett, head of the LSE Cities program, spoke to DW about India's new urbanization drive. He explains why cities need to be sustainable - and equitable.
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The Value of Big Data Isn’t the Data, it's automated machine learning | Harvard Business Review

The Value of Big Data Isn’t the Data, it's automated machine learning | Harvard Business Review | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
To make the data useful, you need to turn it into a narrative. To do that at scale, you need machines.
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Make sure big data doesn't land you in big trouble | The Register

Make sure big data doesn't land you in big trouble | The Register | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Lock up your secrets.

 

Size isn't everything. Big data may be about storing terabytes or petabytes of information but it is also about complexity, and complexity often brings security challenges. Are you ready to handle them?

Right now, someone in a marketing or finance role somewhere in your organisation is probably putting together a big data proposal, and if they aren't it won't be long before they think of it.

 

Beyond using a strong password to access a database, they probably have no idea of the security burden it will bring. That means the security part is down to you. ...

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Smart Cities & Sport Summit sets the tone for Olympic Agenda 2020 | Inside the Games

Smart Cities & Sport Summit sets the tone for Olympic Agenda 2020 | Inside the Games | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

As the culmination of the Olympic Agenda 2020 decision-making process moves ever closer, the inaugural Smart Cities & Sport Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland provided an insightful prelude for what's to come.

When Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announced the reform process in December 2013, it was seen by many as a somewhat unnecessary process, especially after the success of the two most recent Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and London.

But following the withdrawal of four of the six candidates in the race to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, coupled with the growing scepticism of many countries across Europe about the benefits of bidding to host major sporting events, the perception of Agenda 2020's importance has significantly changed. ...

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Big Data, Small Data and Meaning | Historyonics

Big Data, Small Data and Meaning | Historyonics | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

In recent months there has been a lot of talk about big stuff. Between 'Big Data' and calls for a return to ‘Longue durée’ history writing, lots of people seem to be trying to carve out their own small bit of 'big data'. This post represents a reflection on what feels to me to be an important emerging strategy for information interrogation driven by the arrival of 'big data' (a 'macroscope'); and a tentative step beyond that, to ask what is lost by focusing exclusively on the very large. 

And the place I need to start is with the emergence of what feels to me like an increasingly commonplace label – a ‘macroscope’ - for a core aspiration of a lot of people working in the Digital Humanities. ...

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What Defense agencies can do with 'big geospatial data' | Defense Systems

What Defense agencies can do with 'big geospatial data' | Defense Systems | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

In the era of “big data,” geospatial data is a major contributor to the rapidly growing information stockpile. The United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) estimates that of the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated every day, “a significant amount” is location-aware.

 

However, besides the fact that there’s just more of it thanks to the proliferation of satellites and smartphones, GIS data is also more detailed, includes more video and more extensive vector data than ever before. Almost overnight, we’ve acquired the ability to collect and catalog detailed spatial information several times a day for literally every inch of the globe....

 

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New Hacking Threat Could Impact Traffic Systems | NBC 5

New Hacking Threat Could Impact Traffic Systems | NBC 5 | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Motorists drive by traffic lights every day and trust they will work. But NBC 5 Investigates found that as more cities turn to wireless traffic systems, some of those systems are unprotected and open to...
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Smart Cities vs. Smart Communities: Empowering Citizens not Market Economics | Mike Gurstein

Smart Cities vs. Smart Communities: Empowering Citizens not Market Economics | Mike Gurstein | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
So "Smart Cities" particularly in Less Developed Countries are ways of turning urban environments into gold mines for consultants, hardware and software companies and redoing the city in the image ...
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