The Programmable City
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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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The Tricky Task of Rating Neighborhoods on 'Livability' | CityLab

The Tricky Task of Rating Neighborhoods on 'Livability' | CityLab | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

A new start-up aims to take a more rigorous approach.  

 

Jokubas Neciunas was looking to buy an apartment almost two years back in Vilnius, Lithuania. He consulted real estate platforms and government data to help him decide the best option for him. In the process, he realized that there was a lot of information out there, but no one was really using it very well.

 

Fast-forward two years, and Neciunas and his colleagues have created PlaceILive.com—a start-up trying to leverage open data from cities and information from social media to create a holistic, accessible tool that measures the "livability" of any apartment or house in a city. ...

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Esri India Launches Smart Planning Tools for Smart Cities

Esri India (a joint venture between NIIT Technologies Limited, and Esri Inc.), country’s leading Geographic Information System (GIS) Software & Solutions provider, shared details of its offerings for planning Smart Cities in India.

The pace of urbanization is speeding up in India with an expectation of better facilities and living conditions. In this context the Government of India has embarked on a program to develop 100 Smart Cities.

Esri India has introduced Geodesign, a key framework for conceptualizing and planning for Smart Cities and associated tools. These tools include GeoPlanner, a specialized application for land based planning, CityEngine, a 3D design tool with visualization technology to improve urban planning, and GeoEvent Processor which captures feeds from multiple sources for real time processing.

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Building the Smart City of the Future - Real Learning from a Simulated City | Xerox Blogs

Building the Smart City of the Future - Real Learning from a Simulated City | Xerox Blogs | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Researchers look to a simulated city in Michigan for transportation solutions that will reduce congestion and emissions.
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Earthquake-proof "smart cities" becoming common in Japan | La Prensa

Earthquake-proof "smart cities" becoming common in Japan | La Prensa | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Fujisawa, Japan, Feb 10 (EFE).- Tables that become stoves, toilets that are hidden from view and solar panels that provide electricity during emergencies are some of the features of "smart cities" in Japan, a country always on alert for natural disasters.

 

Residents of Fujisawa, 51 kilometers (31.7 miles) to the south of Tokyo, are witnessing how what was once technology company Panasonic's industrial complex is slowly turning into a residential zone with prototype houses fitted with solar cells and electric vehicles roaming the streets. ...

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Open data: how mobile phones saved bananas from bacterial wilt in Uganda | Guardian

Open data: how mobile phones saved bananas from bacterial wilt in Uganda | Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
As disease threatened crops across the country, an initiative from the government and Unicef was able to communicate fast to stop it - demonstrating how open data can transform development
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Twitter: Government requests for your data spiked 40% since summer | Mashable

Twitter: Government requests for your data spiked 40% since summer | Mashable | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Like it or not, governments are more curious than ever about Twitter users. ... The social network released its latest government transparency report on Monday, revealing that the number of requests for user information in the second half of 2014 jumped 40% over the previous six months.  ...

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Big Data as statistical masturbation | Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Big Data as statistical masturbation | Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
It’s just possible that there is a looming crisis in yet another technological sector whose proponents have leaped too far ahead, and too soon, promising all kinds of things they are unable to deliver. It strange how we keep ramming our head into this same damned wall, but this next crisis is perhaps more important than deflated hype at other times, say our over optimism about the timeline for human space flight in the 1970’s, or the “AI winter” in the 1980’s, or the miracles that seemed just at our fingertips when we cracked the Human Genome while pulling riches out of the air during the dotcom boom- both of which brought us to a state of mania in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.
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The Moral Hazard of Big Data | New Republic

The Moral Hazard of Big Data | New Republic | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

We need greater accounting for algorithms that see us only as points in a vast Venn diagram.

 

If you are a person in America, then there are equations trying to learn more about you. Some of these equations work for private companies and some of them work for the government, but they all generate correlations based on your behavior. Google “Ways to keep New Years resolution” and buy a sweatband on Amazon, and your Facebook ads all turn to gym memberships. Search Wikihow for “Join al-Nusra Front” and buy a hunting knife at Target, alarms go off at the NSA. Interacting with the world now involves an implicit agreement to be watched, and not just by surveillance cameras, global positioning satellites, and browser cookies, but increasingly by algorithms designed to predict and manage our future conduct. ...

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How the 'Internet of Everyday Things' could turn any product into a service | VentureBeat

How the 'Internet of Everyday Things' could turn any product into a service | VentureBeat | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Imagine a near future where there will be a wireless sensor on the bottom of every shampoo, detergent, and medication container. It will tell you how much product is left and trigger a replacement order once it gets to 10% full or approaches its expiration date.

 

Now imagine a future laundry detergent dispenser that is connected wirelessly to sensors in the washing machine and can mix multiple channels of active ingredients dynamically to suit the conditions of the wash and optimize the cleaning process.

 

This type of intelligent, personalized experience is not possible today, but it will be commonplace in the “Internet of Everyday Things” in which low-cost, even disposable products will have digital capabilities through low cost sensors and connectivity. ...

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Delivering on the Promise of India’s Smart Cities | Brookings

Delivering on the Promise of India’s Smart Cities | Brookings | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Amy Liu and Rob Puentes write that the United States and India have an opportunity to make their partnership on the three Indian cities (Ajmer, Vishakhapatnam and Allahabad) a model for smart city development. They further recommend five principles that can serve as a framework for a U.S.-India partnership on smart cities.
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Cyberfeminists Go Deep on Big Data, Privacy, and Surveillance | Hyperallergic

Cyberfeminists Go Deep on Big Data, Privacy, and Surveillance | Hyperallergic | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

In mid-December, 12 hackers, artists, coders, and activists gathered to tackle issues of privacy, surveillance, anonymity, and big data as they manifest in our society.  Over the course of one week, 10 presentations unfolded, a short documentary film was shot, and in a frenzy of production, an entire book was made. This was Deep Lab, a group of female cyberfeminists organized by artist Addie Wagenknecht at the Studio for Creative Inquiry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...

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Bugs and blackouts: what are the risks for high-tech cities? by @anthonymobile | World Economic Forum

Bugs and blackouts: what are the risks for high-tech cities? by @anthonymobile | World Economic Forum | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The growing amount of software used to manage urban infrastructure increases the likelihood of coding errors that can cause catastrophic failures, writes Anthony Townsend.
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Companies are rating their customers, shunning those who do not make the grade | New York Times

Companies are rating their customers, shunning those who do not make the grade | New York Times | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Companies from Uber to Airbnb are rating their customers on degrees of promptness and politeness, but who owns the data that details good and bad behavior?

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India, Spain to sign MoU to develop Delhi into Smart City | Thinking Cities

India, Spain to sign MoU to develop Delhi into Smart City | Thinking Cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Spain has come forward to assist in transforming Delhi into a Smart City and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed shortly between the two countries.

 

An understanding to this effect was reached at a meeting between Urban Development Ministry M Venkaiah Naidu and a nine-member delegation led by the visiting Minister of State for Trade of Spain Jaime Garcia-Legaz Ponce.

 

While the US will help India in developing three smart cities in Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnamand, Germany have also shown interest to participate in the UD Ministry’s ambitious Smart City project. ...

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‘Smart’ technology offers the prospect of cities doing more with less | Centre for Cities

‘Smart’ technology offers the prospect of cities doing more with less | Centre for Cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Today marks the official launch of the Triangulum project in Manchester, a smart city vision for three European cities. Led by Fraunhofer IAO and funded by £4.5 million of European Commission funds, the project aims to create ‘smart quarters’ in Manchester, Eindhoven in Holland, and Stavanger in Norway. This scheme offers a new approach, bringing together a number of green initiatives in one area of the city to test the potential of new technologies. ...

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The Big Data picture - just how anonymous are "anonymous" records? | Naked Security

The Big Data picture - just how anonymous are "anonymous" records? | Naked Security | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

You know those "anonymous surveys" you may have filled in?
They don't tell anyone it was you.
Or do they?

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The dark heart of a smart city | GQ

The dark heart of a smart city | GQ | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Corporations are selling civic utopia, but the reality is far more worrying. Edwin Heathcote examines the risks of futuristic smart cities.
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The biggest myth about phone privacy | BBC Future

The biggest myth about phone privacy | BBC Future | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

We should feel safe uploading selfies and personal information to social networks and apps if our identities are hidden, shouldn’t we? Far from it, in fact.

 

In a world where online privacy is a growing concern, security experts say one of our biggest assumptions is that if our identities are hidden we should be safe and anonymous. But evidence shows how little it takes for our identities to be outed. Last week a study of credit card data showed only four pieces of information are needed to match any individual to their “anonymised” credit card records – one of those being the GPS coordinates that can be extracted from your smartphone.

 

So what seemingly harmless pieces of information pose the greatest threat to your privacy, what exactly can be gleaned from this, and how can you better protect your personal data in the future? ...

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Dealing With Big Data Through Data Cooperatives In The Sharing Economy | Intelligent HQ

Dealing With Big Data Through Data Cooperatives In The Sharing Economy | Intelligent HQ | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The sharing economy is changing the dynamics of buyers, owners, sharers and consumers. This is leading to some calling for producers and consumers getting a fairer deal in the value created and also getting the opportunity to benefit from companies set up around them. Some also call for individuals to have a greater input into the governance of companies. According to Marcos Menendez (2014) in a blog post on OuiShare this will: Help building more innovative and resilient networked organisations.

 

As we have seen, the sharing economy has been derived from a society that is increasingly online, and this has in turn led to the development of prosumer models. Under these types of models, individuals participate either as producers or consumers and these roles can sometimes be interchangeable. Shared ownership schemes have also emerged. In particular crowdfunding stands out as a model that lowers the barriers that people have to access the funds they need to get an enterprise underway. At the same time it has also been argued by some that human effort and funding needed to create a minimal viable product has lowered in recent years. Collaboration has helped in achieving this. And this leads to some putting forward the suggestion that companies should share the value that their users have created. ....

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Security services capable of bypassing encryption, draft code reveals | Guardian

Security services capable of bypassing encryption, draft code reveals | Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Home Office code of practice spells out rules and safeguards surrounding use of computer hacking outside UK.

 

Britain’s security services have acknowledged they have the worldwide capability to bypass the growing use of encryption by internet companies by attacking the computers themselves.

 

The Home Office release of the innocuously sounding “draft equipment interference code of practice” on Friday put into the public domain the rules and safeguards surrounding the use of computer hacking outside the UK by the security services for the first time....

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Privacy is damaging to progress says Irish big data whitepaper | The Register

More than 350 Irish boffins have signed a white paper calling for nothing less than a “Magna Carta for Data”.

 

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics says it wants to “put Europe on the road to fair and relevant legislation”, but most of the language sounds like what it really wants is to water down privacy rights in favour of Big Data businesses.

 

“We have progressed so rapidly that the term ownership is obsolete. Does a person own all of the data they generate, for example? Or just the identifying parts of it?” the group innocently asks. ...

 

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Smart Digital Urbanism: creating the conditions for equitably distributed opportunity in the digital age

Smart Digital Urbanism: creating the conditions for equitably distributed opportunity in the digital age | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Over the past 5 years, enormous interest has developed in the potential for digital technologies to contribute to the construction and development of cities, and to the operation of the services and infrastructures that support them. These ideas are often referred to as “Smart Cities” or “Future Cities”.

 

Indeed, as the price of digital technologies such as smartphones, sensors, analytics, open source software and cloud platforms reduces rapidly, market dynamics will drive their aggressive adoption to make construction, infrastructure and city services more efficient, and hence make their providers more competitive.

 

But those market dynamics do not guarantee that we will get everything we want for the future of our cities: efficiency and resilience are not the same as health, happiness and opportunity for every citizen.

 

Is it realistic to ask ourselves whether we can achieve those objectives? Yes, it has to be. ...

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The Internet of Useless Things

The Internet of Useless Things | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Check out rehabstudio’s Internet of Useless Things. A list of useless ideas and a guide to avoid making them.
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Replacing Middle Management with APIs by Peter Reinhardt

There’s a trend in Silicon Valley startups to create a software layer in industries that were traditionally pure human services. Uber and Lyft have created software layers in the taxi industry, 99designs Tasks in the visual design industry, Homejoy in the cleaning industry, and so on. These new software services employ armies of human workers, optimizing their output, productivity and quality while driving price down.

The software layer between the company and their armies of contractors eliminates a huge amount of middle management, and creates a worrisome disconnect between jobs that will be automated, and jobs of increasing leverage and value. ...

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Government's Cloud Computing Strategy Focused on Keeping Data in Canada - Michael Geist

Government's Cloud Computing Strategy Focused on Keeping Data in Canada - Michael Geist | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Over the past few months, the Treasury Board of Canada has quietly been developing a government-wide policy on the use of cloud computing services. The initiative started with an industry engagement event in November that highlighted many of the issues faced by the government.  Following that event, the government issued a cloud computing Request for Information that asked the industry to provide detailed information and recommendations on the government's approach. ....

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