The Programmable City
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Biometric data could help create sustainable cities of a smart nature | Guardian

Biometric data could help create sustainable cities of a smart nature | Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The urban information economy, where data is used to track how individuals behave and interact in city environments, could be used to redesign systems from healthcare to transport
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The Programmable City
How is the city translated into software and data, and how does software reshape the city?
Curated by Rob Kitchin
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A half-built futuristic ‘eco-city’ is sitting abandoned in the Arabian Desert | Tech News

A half-built futuristic ‘eco-city’ is sitting abandoned in the Arabian Desert | Tech News | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Photographer Etienne Malapert visited Masdar City, Abu Dhabi's first self-sufficient development project, and captured remarkable images of the empty streets.
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Smart cities and blind govt policy in India | LiveMint

Smart cities and blind govt policy in India | LiveMint | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The vision of the smart city, while alluring, is unlikely to serve the needs of the majority of urban dwellers. As India prepares for its urban awakening, it may be time for the government to stop dreaming
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The end of privacy: FindFace and the looming prospect of total surveillance — Meduza

The end of privacy: FindFace and the looming prospect of total surveillance — Meduza | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The FindFace mobile app, which makes it possible to find a random person's social-media page on Vkontakte after taking a photo of them in the street, has made news headlines for its use in experimental art projects and bullying women who appear in pornography. Meduza special correspondent Daniil Turovsky sat down with the authors of the “FaceN” technology that powers FindFace, and met with some of the technology's clients. It turns out that FindFace is just the beginning, and the underlying algorithm is based on a neural network that can actually help to identify any person in any photo or video, creating unlimited opportunities for an almost undetectable system of total surveillance. And Moscow's city officials, along with law-enforcement agencies throughout the country, are now expediting plans to put FaceN's technology to use.
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The Big Picture of Big Data: Mapping the Internet of Everything - insideBIGDATA

The Big Picture of Big Data: Mapping the Internet of Everything - insideBIGDATA | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Real-time data flows all around us. From ocean sensors to smartphones, the broad range of things that stream data to the Internet have one common characteristic—location. A geospatial platform brings data streams into a sophisticated mapping environment in which users perform powerful analysis and find new potential in practically every type of industry. Leading edge vendors provide big data technology that accesses and ingests high-velocity and high-volume real-time data for mapping and analysis. Companies that wait to step into the big data stream risk losing customers to those that have already adopted real-time data technologies. Bringing geospatial technology to the vast Internet of Everything (IoE) opens opportunities that are only visible within a geographic context....
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Sidewalk Labs' smart city kiosks go way beyond free WiFi | Engadget

Sidewalk Labs' smart city kiosks go way beyond free WiFi | Engadget | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The details of an ambitious plan from Google's sister company Sidewalk Labs to create entire "smart neighborhoods" just got a little clearer. According to Sidewalk Labs' pitch deck, which was obtained by Recode this week, the plan goes far beyond those free WiFi kiosks that are already on the streets of New York City. The kiosks will monitor everything from bike and pedestrian traffic to air quality and street noise. ....

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Steering the real-time city through urban big data and city dashboards? | URBACT

Steering the real-time city through urban big data and city dashboards? | URBACT | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Dashboards act as cognitive tools that improve a user’s ‘span of control’ over voluminous, varied and quickly transitioning data and enable a user to explore the characteristics and structure of datasets and interpret trends. The power and utility of city dashboards is their realist epistemology and instrumental rationality and their claims to show in detail and real-time the state of play of cities – to know the city as it actually is through objective, trustworthy, factual data; to translate the messiness and complexities of cities into rational, detailed, systematic, ordered forms of knowledge. In essence, dashboards enable a user to understand what is happening in a city system at any point in time and to act on that data – to steer the city through a set of visualisations and data levers in much the same way as a driver is presented with data via a dashboard and reacts accordingly. And if the data are made open then others can use the data to create business value and civic apps. While city dashboards seem to provide a powerful, new data-driven way to know and govern cities, they are not without critique....
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Secretive Alphabet division funded by Google aims to fix public transit in US | Guardian

Secretive Alphabet division funded by Google aims to fix public transit in US | Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Exclusive: Documents reveal Sidewalk Labs is offering cloud software Flow to Columbus, Ohio, to upgrade bus and parking services.


Sidewalk Labs, a secretive subsidiary of Alphabet, wants to radically overhaul public parking and transportation in American cities, emails and documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. Its high-tech services, which it calls “new superpowers to extend access and mobility”, could make it easier to drive and park in cities and create hybrid public/private transit options that rely heavily on ride-share services such as Uber. But they might also gut traditional bus services and require cities to invest heavily in Google’s own technologies, experts fear. ...

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Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) finds public apathy around creation of smart cities | TM Forum

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) finds public apathy around creation of smart cities | TM Forum | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has called for a public engagement campaign around the benefits of smart cities, following research which suggested there is ‘public apathy’ around the technology. The Smart Cities – Time to involve the people report found that just 18 percent of the British public has heard of a ‘smart city’ and that there is a lack of consumer consensus on the relevance of technologies typically associated with smart cities.

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Open Data & APIs: Collecting and Consuming What Cities Produce | GovTech

Open Data & APIs: Collecting and Consuming What Cities Produce | GovTech | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Examining the impact open data is having on city services and operations, and the critical importance of the API and in letting the public consume government data in new ways.
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Customers, users or citizens? Inclusion, spatial data and governance in the smart city | Gr1p

Customers, users or citizens? Inclusion, spatial data and governance in the smart city | Gr1p | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
How much does our spatial data tell the city about us, and how is that likely to change in the next decade? This was the central question of the recently-finished, one-year Maps4Society research project From Data Subjects to Data Producers, conducted at the University of Amsterdam.The project studied the use and governance of spatial data in Amsterdam’s smart city projects and focused on resident groups normally not included and accounted for in Smart City research projects. You can download the report of their research here: Customers, users or citizens?
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Smart cities: realising the promises while minimizing the perils | Slideshare

This talk details the promises and perils of smart cities and suggests ways to deliver on the potential benefits while minimizing the harms.
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Six Lessons From Amsterdam’s Smart City Initiative | MIT Sloan Review

Six Lessons From Amsterdam’s Smart City Initiative | MIT Sloan Review | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The city of Amsterdam has long been known for its canals, cafés, and bicycling culture. In recent years, though, it’s also become known as a model for what it takes to become a “smart city,” utilizing information technology to improve city services. In April 2016, Amsterdam won Europe’s Capital of Innovation award by the European Commission. This €950,000 prize will help the city scale up innovation efforts to improve the way people live and businesses work. A new case study by MIT Sloan Management Review looks at the steps Amsterdam has taken since 2009 to become a smart city innovator and the insights the city’s experience presents into the complexities facing city managers. The case study is titled “Data-Driven City Management.”

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The NSA wants to monitor pacemakers and other medical devices | The Verge

The NSA wants to monitor pacemakers and other medical devices | The Verge | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The NSA is interested in collecting information from pacemakers and other biomedical devices for national security purposes, according to The Intercept. Richard Ledgett, the agency'
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Netherlands needs ‘bottom up’ approach to create smart cities | Computer Weekly

Netherlands needs ‘bottom up’ approach to create smart cities | Computer Weekly | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Dutch municipalities see the need to make their cities smarter, but often lack the necessary knowledge and do not know where to begin.
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Data City / Data Nation. London/Singapore public/private data hub | Digital Catapult Centre

Data City / Data Nation. London/Singapore public/private data hub | Digital Catapult Centre | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Data City | Data Nation will enable experts and developers in Singapore and London to come together to develop smart solutions to real-life challenges. The project will include the creation of a virtual data sandbox incorporating data from telcos, retailers, health providers, security firms and local government. The Data City | Data Nation initiative will build and provide managed access to billions of data points provided by the public and private sector and synchronised by time and location. Analysis of the data will deliver identification of trends and patterns providing insight into how government and business services are delivered in both London and Singapore. ...

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How Dublin Became a Smart City, Part One | IOT Journal

How Dublin Became a Smart City, Part One | IOT Journal | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

When you think of Dublin, you probably think of friendly pubs and buskers entertaining pedestrians on cobblestone streets. But you should also imagine efficient, internet-controlled lighting in those pubs, and plan on enjoying those street musicians without having to navigate around littered sidewalks, or car-clogged streets. That's because Dublin is in the midst of a transformation into a smart city that leverages sensor networks through platforms focused on improving the city's infrastructure.  ...

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How does your smart city grow? Phys.org

How does your smart city grow? Phys.org | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction is building on advances in sensing technology to learn everything possible about a city's infrastructure – its tunnels, roads, bridges, sewers and power supplies
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Netherlands Implements Internet of Things (LoRa) Network | VoA

Netherlands Implements Internet of Things (LoRa) Network | VoA | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Dutch telecoms group KPN said its long-range (LoRa) network is now available throughout the country to support IoT devices
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Privacy concerns in smart cities by Liesbet van Zoonen in Government Information Quarterly (OA)

Privacy concerns in smart cities by Liesbet van Zoonen in Government Information Quarterly (OA) | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
In this paper a framework is constructed to hypothesize if and how smart city technologies and urban big data produce privacy concerns among the people in these cities (as inhabitants, workers, visitors, and otherwise). The framework is built on the basis of two recurring dimensions in research about people's concerns about privacy: one dimensions represents that people perceive particular data as more personal and sensitive than others, the other dimension represents that people's privacy concerns differ according to the purpose for which data is collected, with the contrast between service and surveillance purposes most paramount. These two dimensions produce a 2 × 2 framework that hypothesizes which technologies and data-applications in smart cities are likely to raise people's privacy concerns, distinguishing between raising hardly any concern (impersonal data, service purpose), to raising controversy (personal data, surveillance purpose). Specific examples from the city of Rotterdam are used to further explore and illustrate the academic and practical usefulness of the framework. It is argued that the general hypothesis of the framework offers clear directions for further empirical research and theory building about privacy concerns in smart cities, and that it provides a sensitizing instrument for local governments to identify the absence, presence, or emergence of privacy concerns among their citizens.
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Dublin is striving to be the smartest of the “smart” cities, deploying what might be the largest Internet of Things experiment yet | Motherboard

Dublin is striving to be the smartest of the “smart” cities, deploying what might be the largest Internet of Things experiment yet | Motherboard | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Among “smart” cities, Dublin stands out. Ireland has long been a locus of the tech industry, and in recent years, Dublin has set out to be the most “sensored” metro in the world. To this end Intel has been an important ally. Since 1989, when it established the 360-acre Leixlip campus just outside Dublin, many of the biggest breakthroughs have been researched and developed in Ireland, like the Intel® Galileo Development Board. The campus houses Intel’s IoT Systems Research Lab, and a semiconductor wafer fabrication facility that manufactures the silicon microprocessors at the very heart of our phones and computers. ...

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CISCO imagine new smart city job - A Chief Experience Officer (CCXO) in charge of creating memorable experiences

CISCO imagine new smart city job - A Chief Experience Officer (CCXO) in charge of creating memorable experiences | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
What if cities had a similar role? Let’s call it the “Chief City Experience Officer” or CCXO. Imagine having a single individual responsible for creating memorable experiences for residents, visitors, businesses and even city employees…for identifying the important characteristics that make a city unique and seeing to it that the cultural elements necessary to support those characteristics are preserved. Where a Chief Innovation Officer (I’ve seen them called CINOs)—a role that has begun to surface in a number of cities—looks for the new, a CCXO is actually responsible for preserving what’s good about the old. She or he would identify and articulate the culture and soul of her city—its brand, if you will—and see to it that the city builds brand equity by establishing and protecting the very elements that resonate with residents, tourists and local businesses, as well as inspire the employees who run the city agencies and vertical industries to embrace a sense of city pride and reflect it in the way they fulfill their duties and provide services. ...
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Big data shows racial bias in police behavior | Engadget

Big data shows racial bias in police behavior | Engadget | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Stanford's data shows that Oakland police officers haven't treated everyone fairly.


Stanford University just delivered further proof that massive, readily available data sets can solve tricky law enforcement problems. School researchers combing through a mix of 28,119 Oakland Police Department stop reports, officer body camera footage and community surveys have learned that there are "significant" racial biases at play. OPD officers are not only more likely to stop a black person, but far more likely to conduct searches of black people, even though they weren't any more likely to find something incriminating. Officers more frequently handcuffed black people without arresting them, too. And the pattern is the same regardless of the crime rate in a given region. ...

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We know where you live: From location data alone, even low-tech snoopers can identify Twitter users’ homes, workplaces | MIT

We know where you live: From location data alone, even low-tech snoopers can identify Twitter users’ homes, workplaces | MIT | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Researchers at MIT and Oxford University have shown that the location stamps on just a handful of Twitter posts — as few as eight over the course of a single day — can be enough to disclose the addresses of the poster’s home and workplace to a relatively low-tech snooper. The tweets themselves might be otherwise innocuous — links to funny videos, say, or comments on the news. The location information comes from geographic coordinates automatically associated with the tweets. Twitter’s location-reporting service is off by default, but many Twitter users choose to activate it. The new study is part of a more general project at MIT’s Internet Policy Research Initiative to help raise awareness about just how much privacy people may be giving up when they use social media. ...

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Just How ‘Smart’ Do You Want Your Blender to Be? | NYTimes

Just How ‘Smart’ Do You Want Your Blender to Be? | NYTimes | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
In the land rush to digitize the world, the home is the new frontier. Over the past few years, practically every household item within reach has been technologically upgraded and rendered “smart”: toothbrushes, cutlery, baby monitors, refrigerators, thermostats, slow cookers, sprinkler systems, sex toys, even the locks in doors. Before they achieved enlightenment, they could perform only their rote, mechanical duties; now they can do so while connected to the internet. In the case of the telephone, this has been nothing short of revolutionary, but no other “smart” object has managed to replicate its success. ...

“Smart” has been slapped onto everything from cups (that analyze what you’re drinking) to surfboards (that let you check your text messages between waves) to clothing (that tracks calorie expenditure). The word is flattering to both the objects and their users, even as it threatens to become a hazy banality. ...

When applied to the latest consumer gadgets, “smart” performs a similar sleight of hand; what is presented as an upgrade is actually a stealthy euphemism for “surveillance.” While a “smart” lighting system promises to adapt to an owner’s preferences or help the environment by lowering electricity bills, what it also does is provide a company a permanent foothold in a person’s home from which he can be monitored. That smart-­lighting company knows when the owner of its product comes home, when he goes, when he dims the lights for a date and when he leaves them on. The intelligence given to these devices really serves twin purposes: information collection and control. Smart devices are constantly collecting information, tracking user habits, trying to anticipate and shape their owners’ behaviors and reporting back to the corporate mother ship. ...
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Smart Cities and Infrastructure issues paper by UNCTAD | URENIO

Smart Cities and Infrastructure issues paper by UNCTAD | URENIO | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

An understanding of what Smart Cities and their infrastructure are, key challenges in the context of a ‘Smart City’ and the role of STI.


During the 18th annual session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), Smart Cities and Infrastructure, was selected as one of the priority themes for the 2015-16 period. The objective of this paper, prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat, is to illustrate the key role of STI, including ICT, in the development of a smart city and its infrastructure. The paper provides (1) an understanding of what a ‘Smart City’ is, (2) what constitutes its infrastructure, (3) what the key challenges in the context of a ‘Smart City’, especially in developing countries are and (4) the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in addressing these challenges. ...

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