Data mining or data harvesting is a danger where free public wifi is concerned. It’s often part of the pay-off for the large companies that supply the service: in return they are allowed to track people who use the service, to know what they are using their devices for, and when and where they’re using them. And then they can sell this data back to the local government or business group. Back in 2014, American journalist Evan Schuman raised concerns about New York City’s plans to roll out public wifi. It’s tricky for the service user, says Schuman. “The caution, the change in behaviour, is for the consumer. Riding a public Wi-Fi with thousands of strangers is a problematic security practice,” he said, in an email. Addressing these concerns, says Guiney of DublinTown, will be key when bringing potential service providers to the table. “That technology is all available and obviously people try to sell you that but I actually don’t know if we want to get into that level of detail,” he says. “We don’t need to be recording the data.” ...
The first Smart Dublin Advisory Network meeting took place on the 12th October in the Mansion House. The plan is for the network to meet every six months to help guide the work of Smart Dublin as it develops and implements its strategy and programmes. The first meeting mainly focused on introducing Smart Dublin and undertaking some initial workshop exercises to brainstorm initial ideas and feedback and to do so preliminary backcasting. The first task was a quick introduction and for each person to say in one word a quality they hoped Smart Dublin would fulfil. Here’s a list of those aspirational words – which I have grouped into triplets – a list against which to judge over the next few years how successful Smart Dublin has been. ...
The vision of a smart city, as articulated by the city administration, is based on three pillars of smart urban governance: (1) strategic planning using big data to develop and implement real-time adaptive management solutions; (2) sustainable, continuous development based on co-evolution of society and nature aimed at making life better while also reducing the negative impact on the environment; (3) engaging residents in the city’s administration through dialogue and collective decision-making using websites and mobile apps. ...
As KrebsOnSecurity observed over the weekend, the source code that powers the “Internet of Things” (IoT) botnet responsible for launching the historically large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack last month has been publicly released. Here’s a look at which devices are being targeted by this malware. The malware, dubbed “Mirai,” spreads to vulnerable devices by continuously scanning the Internet for IoT systems protected by factory default usernames and passwords....
Cities are like Tolstoy's families: each messed up in its own way. The new challenges urban conglomerates have to face and how to better address them were the main topics of discussion at the Smart City in Focus conference which took place in Yinchuan (China) a couple of weeks ago. If for Atlanta, Georgia, transportation and public safety are the top priorities to address, in the struggling desert utopia of Masdar City, the focus is on renewable energy and smart buildings.
As many cities increase in size across multiple dimensions such as population, economic output and physical size, new methods for understanding and managing cities are required. Data produced by and about urban environments offer insight into what is happening in cities. Real-time data from sensors within the city record current transport and environmental conditions such as noise levels, water levels, journey times and public transport delays. Similarly administrative data such as demographics, employment statistics, property prices and crime rates all provide insight into how a city is evolving. Traditionally, these data were maintained separately and managed by individual city departments. Advances in technology and a move to open-government have placed many of these data in the public domain. Urban dashboards have emerged as a technique to visualise these data in an accessible way. This paper describes the implementation of one such dashboard, the Dublin Dashboard, an interactive website which collects, analyses and visualises data from a variety of sources about Dublin in Ireland through a series of interactive maps, graphs and applications. This paper describes the approach, the data and the technology used to develop the Dublin Dashboard and acts as a guideline for developing urban dashboards in other cities.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported late Tuesday that the Baltimore police have been subjecting that city to a vast and powerful aerial surveillance system since January, without telling, let alone asking, the public that they serve. This is a big deal.
This system, known as “wide-area surveillance” and run by an Ohio company called Persistent Surveillance Systems, involves the deployment of megapixel cameras on a Cessna aircraft, which circles over a city for up to 10 hours at a time, continuously photographing a 30-square-mile area and giving police the ability to retroactively track any vehicle or pedestrian within that area. It is the ultimate Big Brother “eye in the sky.” ...
Baidu, China’s internet search giant, has shown just what you can learn when you have access to enough location data. The firm’s Big Data Lab in Beijing has announced that it has used billions of location records from its 600 million users as a lens on the Chinese economy, tracking the flux of people around offices and shops as a proxy measurement for employment and consumption activity. The lab even used the data to predict Apple’s second quarter revenue in China.
“Faced with unprecedented growth, socio-cultural heterogeneity and inequity, we do not know what the future holds for nature in the new urban India,” writes Nagendra. “While the focus of the country appears to be on ‘smart cities’ as viewed through a technological lens, we need to understand that nature provides the most intelligent routes to a smart city.”
While Songdo is perhaps best known in the urban studies literature as model smart city and an example of testbed urbanism on a grand scale, my sense is that its creation really has to be contextualised with respect to IFEZ as it is predominately an economic development initiative aimed at driving domestic growth and establishing South Korea as a North East Asian hub for particular industries and thus consolidating its position as a key player in the global economy. Seen from this perspective, the focus on creating a smart city is an implementation strategy designed to attract investment capital, anchor tenants, and global workers, with a side benefit of creating a potential exportable model of development. Indeed, the smart city is one of four such implementation strategies used by IFEZ to bring the vision of being a ‘global business frontier’ to life, the others being: creating ‘a global economic platform’, becoming a ‘hub of service industries’ and a ‘hub of convergence’. ...
One of the key issues facing modern cities today is municipalities being locked in to technology from a single provider, and instead ensuring they are free to transition to the most convenient products and services for citizen
Rapid urbanisation is the defining challenge for Asia Pacific in coming decades. Eco-Business looks at some smart solutions adopted by cities to keep up with growing energy and waste needs and strengthen their economies in the process.
Big data is everywhere, largely generated by automated systems operating in real time that potentially tell us how cities are performing and changing. A product of the smart city, it is providing us with novel data sets that suggest ways in which we might plan better, and design more sustainable environments. The articles in this issue reveal how scientists and planners are using big data to better understand everything from new forms of mobility in transport systems to new uses of social media. Together, they reveal how visualization is fast becoming an integral part of developing a thorough understanding of our cities.
With the help of big data and analytics, urban planners can now use simulations to anticipate the impact of urban development programs. Using these tools, cities can become more sustainable and strategic, while the planning processes become ever more inclusive.
Our current smart-city techno fetish rides roughshod across the public realm. It encourages the belief that there’s always “an app for that” — that we can address deep-seated, structural urban problems through business-led technological innovation and somehow sidestep the messiness of inclusive politics.
To be truly smart, cities of the future should focus on developing democratic, participatory visions that harness smart technology to a shared agenda. Let’s create a genuinely shared urban commons and an inclusive public realm — not a place where quick adoption of smart technologies just reinforces the dominant-yet-dumb approaches of competition, enclosure, and division.
The quantitative data that’s available is far too limited, and likely to lead us to the wrong conclusions. When it comes to transportation planning, we have copious data about some things, and almost nothing about others. Plus, there’s an evident systematic bias in favor of current modes of urban transportation and travel patterns. The car-centric data we have about transportation fundamentally warps the field’s decision-making. Unless we’re careful, over-reliance on big data will only perpetuate that problem—if not make it worse.
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