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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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African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares? by Vanessa Watson | Environment and Urbanization

Labelled as the “last frontier” for international property development, sub-Saharan Africa’s larger cities are currently being revisioned in the image of cities such as Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore, which claim top positions in the world-class city leagues. Draped in the rhetoric of “smart cities” and “eco-cities”, these plans promise to modernize African cities and turn them into gateways for international investors and showpieces for ambitious politicians. Yet the reality in all of these cities stands in stark contrast to the glass-box towers, manicured lawns and water features on developers’ and architects’ websites. With the majority of urban populations living in deep poverty and with minimal urban services, the most likely outcome of these fantasy plans is a steady worsening of the marginalization and inequalities that already beset these cities.
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Ecuador is betting $1 billion that a dream city can make it a high-tech leader - MiamiHerald

Ecuador is building a research university and city in the middle of a remote pasture. Can it succeed where others have failed?

 

URCUQUI, Ecuador -- It’s the year 2043 and this burgeoning city of 100,000 is a high-tech Mecca. Using rare plants from the Amazon, university researchers have cured many diseases; factories churn out nano-sponges that soak up oil spills around the world; local software designers are the envy of Palo Alto. Ecuador — once known for its crude and bananas — is now the Silicon Valley of the tropics, the Singapore of the Andes. ...


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/12/4233299/ecuador-is-betting-1-billion-that.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

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European Smart Cities projects, local innovation boosters? | EurActiv

European Smart Cities projects, local innovation boosters? | EurActiv | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Today, Open Government Data is often difficult to access and use by the developer community, let alone the average citizen. In Issy-les-Moulineaux [www.issy.com] and in Paris in the framework of the “Futur-en-Seine Festival”, European Smart Cities projects have come together for 3 days of intensive debates and exchange of good practices to develop new e-Services for citizens at local level across Europe. ... 

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EU privacy watchdog to conduct review of big data potential within existing legal boundaries | Out-Law

Representatives from data protection authorities (DPA) in the EU are to assess how data could be better used across industries within existing legal boundaries.

 

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, chair of the Article 29 Working Party, a committee made up of representatives from EU privacy watchdogs, confirmed the move in a recent letter to John Podesta (3-page / 217KB PDF), an advisor to US president Barack Obama. The letter was sent in response to a report published in the US this spring on big data opportunities and privacy implications. ...

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Dubai is building the world's first temperature-controlled city | Verge

Dubai is building the world's first temperature-controlled city | Verge | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Dubai is set to become home to the first temperature-controlled city on the planet. The ambitious project is expected to feature a mall, an indoor family theme park, and a "network of temperature-controlled openable promenades" — all billed as "the world's largest." According to developer Dubai Holding, the 7 kilometer (4.35 mile) expanse of covered walkways will allow weeklong stays without the need for cars or exposure to Dubai's harsh desert climate, which averages 104 degrees Farenheit in the summer. ...

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How citizen scientists use the web to track the natural world | GreenBiz

How citizen scientists use the web to track the natural world | GreenBiz | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
7 ways volunteers and scientists are working together online to compile environmental data.
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Deployment of an EU Open Data core platform: implementation of the pan-European Open Data Portal and related services

SMART 2014/1072 - Deployment of an EU Open Data core platform: implementation of the pan-European Open Data Portal and related services - A Europe 2020 Initiative

 

The subject matter of the contract is

the deployment of a comprehensive Open Data core platform. Work will cover the setting-up, launch, operation and maintenance of a large-scale pan-European Open Data portal, allowing cross-border and cross-sectoral discovery of public data assets (open data), and featuring advanced visualisation capabilities;Services with a view of publishing additional public data resources by public administrations in EU Member
States, EEA countries and certain third countries on (open) data portals through training, workshops and
bilateral meetings;Services with a view of fostering uptake on commercial reuse of public data resources through conferences
and outreach activities and services relating to measuring impact and sustainability of open data (infrastructures). Services will include the preparation of analytical reports, a survey on economic indicators demonstrating the impact of publishing public data resources and a report on the sustainability of
(open) data portal infrastructures.
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Connecting Cities Urban Media Lab - All 10 talks on YouTube | iMAL

Connecting Cities Urban Media Lab - All 10 talks on YouTube | iMAL | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Symposium, masterclass & urban interventions! In the framework of the European project Connecting Cities : Participatory City 2014, iMAL organised an Urban Media Lab masterclass. To first enrich the thinking and open new perspectives, we ...

 

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Social Science in an Era of Corporate Big Data | Concurring Opinions

To what extent will academics study data driven firms like Facebook, and to what extent will they try to join forces with its own researchers to study others?

 

Present incentives are clear: collaborate with (rather than develop a critical theory of) big data firms.  As Zeynep Tufekci puts it, “the most valuable datasets have become corporate and proprietary [and] top journals love publishing from them.”  “Big data” has an aura of scientific validity simply because of the velocity, volume, and variety of the phenomena it encompasses. Psychologists certainly must have learned *something* from looking at over 600,000 accounts’ activity, right?

 

The problem, though is that the corporate “science” of manipulation is a far cry from academic science’s ethics of openness and reproducibility.*

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Smart City in India: How it can change the face of country | India Today

Smart City in India: How it can change the face of country | India Today | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Singapore has also offered help in Modi's dream project of building 100 smart cities along the key infrastructure projects such as Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor entailing setting up of seven Greenfield Smart Cities between Delhi and Mumbai with three Smart Cities at Dholera, Shendra-Bidkin and Global City to be built by 2019.
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Why the chips are up at Sunderland's Silicon Valley/Sunderland Software City | Guardian

Why the chips are up at Sunderland's Silicon Valley/Sunderland Software City | Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The north-east's software sector is booming - and ambitions are lofty at a technology hub outside Sunderland. Dominic Smith reports.

 

Rainton Bridge is the base of an ever-increasing number of software start-ups, and the business of a set of enterprising Sunderland brothers who rode the dotcom boom at the turn of the century, starting the process which has helped to make Sunderland one of the fastest-growing software hubs outside London.

 

New research last week revealed that the north-east ICT sector now employs over 32,000 people, with 1,500 new jobs created this year. Sunderland Software City (SSC), a partnership between the public and private sector and the University of Sunderland, has ambitions for the north-east to be home to 2,200 software companies by 2020, contributing over £1bn to the regional economy, double the UK annual growth rate.

 

In Sunderland itself, SSC has supported over 300 software businesses since it began operating in 2009, and helped 150 start-ups. ...

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Chicgo: City of Big Data Makes the Invisible, Visible | Architectural Record

Chicgo: City of Big Data Makes the Invisible, Visible | Architectural Record | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

For the exhibition Chicago: City of Big Data, CAF turned its centerpiece Chicago Model—a 320-square-foot resin replica of the city’s downtown, updated annually to reflect additions and subtractions—into an interpretive piece through which to “view” the city’s data. Encompassing everything from tweets to demographics to air quality, so-called big data is increasingly employed by city governments, developers, and designers to create smarter infrastructure that better integrates the urban environment with its populace. ...

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Smart cities: Putting big data to work for ordinary citizens | Waterloo Stories

Smart cities: Putting big data to work for ordinary citizens | Waterloo Stories | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Beth Coleman thinks the awesome power of big data should be used to create great cities - not just to get an upgrade on your morning latte for liking a coffee shop on Facebook.

 

“Big data has been going on in industry for more than a decade and we’ve been volunteering this information as social media users. But if we are in the age of data we need to work harder to make it available and valuable to ordinary people,” says Coleman, professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and director of a new research lab at the University of Waterloo called City as Platform. ...

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5 smart technologies to help cities cope with soaring pet populations | Smart Cities Council

5 smart technologies to help cities cope with soaring pet populations | Smart Cities Council | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

An influx of people moving into cities also means an influx of pets. With many animal shelters already overcrowded, cities will need smart technologies to meet the challenge. Let's take a look at five of these technologies. ...

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Smart cities will trigger India’s rurban growth | Niti Centre

Smart cities will trigger India’s rurban growth | Niti Centre | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Rs 7,600 crore has been allocated in the General Budget 2014-15 to develop 100 smart cities.  As a part of its agenda to provide better civic amenities and career options while ensuring rapid growth of Indian economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government embarked on building 100 smart urban hubs across the country for which...

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IBM launches Chinese smart city R&D base | China Daily

IBM launches Chinese smart city R&D base | China Daily | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
IBM and its Chinese partner will launch a research and develop smart cities, futuristic urban centers where computing technology will improve infrastructure and public services.
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TED co-founder launches an observatory for the largest cities on Earth | VB

TED co-founder launches an observatory for the largest cities on Earth | VB | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The Urban Observatoryis a multi-media interactive exhibit culled from big data that is displayed on screens to let viewers compare and contrast data from the world’s largest cities. Fifty-five of the world’s largest metropolitan cities shared their data to create what Wurman is calling the globe’s first real public observatory.

 

The observatory is being unveiled today at the Esri User Conference in San Diego. Wurman produced the project with geographic information systems provider Esri. Early next year, in February 2015, the Urban Observatory will make its way to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, where the exhibit will be permanently housed. ...

 

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Emergency phone and internet data laws to be passed in UK | BBC News

Emergency phone and internet data laws to be passed in UK | BBC News | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

An emergency law to ensure police and security services can continue to access people's phone and internet records is expected to be approved at a special cabinet meeting later.

David Cameron says the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill is needed to fight "criminals and terrorists".

But civil liberties groups say it infringes the right to privacy and sets a dangerous precedent.

It comes after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers.....

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Smart City terms and conditions diluted, says CAG report | New indian Express

Smart City terms and conditions diluted, says CAG report | New indian Express | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

KOCHI: The terms and conditions with respect to the Smart City project was diluted, which will affect generation of employment opportunities, according to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. ....

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Moving Beyond the ‘Smart City’ Paradigm

Moving Beyond the ‘Smart City’ Paradigm | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
by Mathieu Lefevre, Executive Director, New Cities Foundation

The dominant prism through which we have looked at the inevitable and growing relationship between technology and our cities has long
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Smart City: New thinking new ideas - Part I - The Guerilla Citizen

Smart City: New thinking new ideas - Part I - The Guerilla Citizen | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Shortly to be let loose in the real world is city traffic management artificial intelligence. These systems are currently in beta. They take a plethora of data from moving cars, cyclists, pedestrians, public transport, road side cameras and watch all intersections from multiple perspectives as traffic (being people, cyclists, cars, and others) enter and leave the area. It can even identify cars that are likely to start traffic jams, i.e. driving too slow. All that data is then applied in a city-wide context to automate the flow of traffic. ...

 

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Google study of 26 million builds: Top reasons why code won't compile | VentureBeat

Google study of 26 million builds: Top reasons why code won't compile | VentureBeat | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

A major empirical study of programming errors concludes that typographical errors loom large in failed software builds created by experienced programmers. Produced over a period of several months, , the published study looked at data from over 26 million builds by Google programmers working in the Java and C++ programming languages.

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This Small Company is Connecting Big Cities to the Internet of Things | Motley Fool

This Small Company is Connecting Big Cities to the Internet of Things | Motley Fool | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Sierra Wireless is expanding its wireless module connections into smart cities.  Sierra Wireless will provide the wireless connection modules for the company's CityTouch light management service. Cities around the world are upgrading outdated systems like waste management, parking, and lighting by hooking them into the Internet in order to manage them more efficiently. ...

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Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company - big data and farming | Bloomberg

Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company - big data and farming | Bloomberg | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

What's the genetically modified seed factory up to? Making high-tech plans to feed a growing world.

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Which is why Spears is in his tractor at two in the morning the first Monday in May, moving at 8 miles per hour through a halogen-lit haze of stirred-up topsoil. On the 60-foot planter behind him, a $47,000 sensor array helps deposit each corn kernel at a depth of 2 inches, no matter how hard or soft the soil. A computer in the cab calculates the fertility of different parts of the field and adjusts the planter accordingly. The seeds themselves are a new hybrid with a candy-green coating containing insecticides and fungicides. DNA inserted into the seeds produces a protein that kills pests such as corn borers, earworms, and rootworms. Other spliced-in genes confer immunity to the weed killers Spears uses, greatly simplifying his spraying schedule ....

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How Welcoming Will the Smart Home of the Future Be? | MIT Technology Review

Imagine a dishwasher that requires a username and password. Smart homes will require unprecedented effort to ensure not just security but also usability.

 

The battle between Google and Apple is moving from smart phones to smart things, with both companies vying to provide the underlying architecture that networks your appliances, utilities, and entertainment equipment. Earlier in June, at its annual developer conference, Apple announced HomeKit, a new software framework for communications between home devices and Apple’s devices. Meanwhile, Nest, a maker of smart thermostats and smoke alarms that was bought by Google earlier this year for $3.2 billion, recently launched a similar endeavor with software that lets developers build apps for its products and those from several other companies. ...

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