What else can we predict? In theory, any event that is not random, provided we have enough data to model the context. Examples include passenger load in public transports, availability of parking spots, traffic jams, waste production, energy consumption and revenues of a shop in a specific street. These all share a common underlying principle: use context rather than history to predict behavior.
In themselves, each of these predictions could lead to amazing new products and services. The real power though comes from integrating everything together and modeling an entire city and its interactions with people. For instance, if you can predict where people will need to go tomorrow, then you can create optimal bus routes, minimizing time to destination and walking distance, taking into account predicted traffic, weather and garbage collection schedules. In this ideal system, all services would be optimal and available to citizens at anytime. We call this new way of designing cities "Algorithmic Urbanism".
In his new book "Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City", William J. Mitchell tells the story of the reciprocal relationship between man and technology - how one shapes the other in a cyclical and temporal process. These mutually reinforcing phenomena are most visible when looking at design and architecture and their manifestation in cities in particular. The characteristic new architecture of the 21st century occurs at the intersection of three realms: electronic information flows, mobile bodies and physical places. So, what we are experiencing is not the replacement of the physical space with electronic versions, but the sophisticated integration of digital networks within physical supply chains.
"Embedded within a vast structure of nested boundaries and ramifying networks, my muscular and skeletal, physiological, and nervous systems have been artificially augmented and expanded...My biological body meshes with the city; the city itself has become not only the domain of my networked cognitive system, but also – and crucially – the spatial and material embodiment of that system."
This is the fundamental thesis in Mitchell's book. It largely rests, as he states, on Gregory Bateson's insight that if you want to explain the locomotion of a blind man crossing the street "you will need the street, the stick, the man, the street, the stick, and so on, round and round." In Bateson's view, there is no clear distinction between internal cognitive processes and external computational ones. Mitchell translates this into the present by saying that we perceive, act, learn, and know through the mechanically, electronically, and otherwise extended bodies and memories that we construct and reconstruct for ourselves. And, as we are beginning to see, there is no clear limit to this extension. This is his explanation for why mankind is not only its own bodies, but tightly intertwined with its surrounding technologies:
VersuS explores the real-time lives of cities using data captured from major social networks and analyzing it through natural language analysis and artificial intelligence
Cities have become ubiquitous publishing spaces in which people constantly use nomadic technological tools (such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and network-connected devices and services) to communicate, learn, understand their environment, express emotions, collaborate, organize themselves, work, express opinions.
In VersuS we focus on the concept of the concept of human-centered smart cities.
The VersuS project:
- all the real-time public information which is generated in cities on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Foursquare and Flickr is captured
- Natural Language Analysis and Artificial intelligence are used to understand the topics people are discussing, their emotional approach (sentiment analysis and emotional analysis) and, when available, their exact geographic location
- we currently support 29 languages
- network analysis is then performed to understand the human geographies/topograpies of cities: who are the hubs, the influencers, the switches, the major nodes of the human network, and the dynamics according to how information, knowledge, opinions and data spread in the city
Traditionally, cities have been viewed as the sum of their locations – the buildings, monuments, squares and parks that spring to mind when we think of ‘New York’, ‘London’ or ‘Paris’. In The new science of cities (Amazon US| Amazon UK), Michael Batty argues that a more productive approach is to think of cities in terms of …
Cities and network analysis.
Viewing cities as networks allows us to use the toolbox of network analysis on them, employing concepts such as ‘cores’ and ‘peripheries’, ‘centrality’, and ‘modules’. Batty says that an understanding of how different types of network intersect will be the key that really unlocks our understanding of cities.
Cities, like many other types of network, also seem to be modular, hierarchical, and scale-free – in other words, they show similar patterns at different scales. It’s often said that London is a series of villages, with their own centres and peripheries. but the pattern also repeats when you zoom out and look at the relationships between cities. One can see this in the way that London’s influence really extends across Europe, and in the way that linked series of cities, or ‘megalopolises‘, are growing in places such as the eastern seaboard of the US, Japan’s ‘Taiheiyō Belt‘, or the Pearl River Delta in China.
When urban planners and developers want to know what businesses local residents would like in their neighborhoods, where to put new bike lanes, or specific ...
SpaceHive is a website that crowdfunds civic projects in England, with proposals ranging from neighborhood festivals to new performance spaces in disused urban areas. It’s similar to Kickstarter, but focusing exclusively on community improvement. One recent project, the Porty Light Box, renovates decommissioned red phone booths into light boxes that display local artwork and images.
Vast information infrastructures are creating new challenges for future cities
Agility is key
With such diverse information flying around a smart city, new technology is needed to coordinate not only this vast amount of data, but also the array of applications it may have.
One solution to coordinate data is an “agile network” – a system that uses new technology to automatically control and configure data. This data can also be disseminated across a number of varying devices.
Chinese company Huawei Enterprise is one firm helping to build these agile networks, as well as the cloud computing data centres that they hope will help make Smart Cities a reality.
La perspective a, par les temps qui courent, tout pour séduire. Imaginez : une ville dans...
« L’idée de ville intelligente, c’est du marketing politique, lance à l’autre bout du fil Éric George, le directeur du Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la communication, l’information et la société (GRICIS) de l’UQAM. Dans des environnements où les inégalités augmentent, où le vieillissement de la population amène des enjeux de gestion délicats, où les questions écologiques émergent, où de nouveaux territoires entrent dans la compétition des villes, où les influences se déplacent, c’est un vocable qui exprime un remède, qui invite à l’optimisme alors que l’on ne sait pas où l’on s’en va. C’est là pour faire rêver, pour nourrir l’imaginaire », comme le faisaient les images des voitures volantes et les récits de téléportation, de trottoirs roulants dans les journaux du début du siècle dernier, lorsqu’ils se mettaient à imaginer les années 2000.
Solution actuelle à des problèmes qui le sont tout autant, la « ville intelligente » semble, à écouter les élus, à nos portes, même si dans les faits, cette idée d’un environnement numériquement plus efficace est finalement à des années-lumière du présent immédiat. « On est encore loin de la ville intelligente, lance Marie-Andrée Doran, la directrice de l’Institut technologies de l’information et sociétés (ITIS) de l’Université Laval, qui, depuis 2009, se questionne sur ce concept de ville connectée.Nous sommes à l’étape de définir ce que cela est vraiment. »
« On en parle beaucoup, c’est vrai, ajoute Stéphane Roche, professeur en sciences géomatiques dans le même établissement universitaire, mais dans les tissus urbains existants, les développements concrets sont rares », et le minimum requis pour commencer à rêver de système de guidage automatique des transports, de gestion numérique des mouvements d’argent public, d’électrification intelligente du tissu urbain y est également, dans la plupart des villes du monde, inexistant.
"It nearly moved me to tears," a Ford executive once said of a Michael Santoro car design. "It's the best set of proportions I've ever seen on a sedan." In the early '90s Santoro was an upstart designer largely responsible for turning Chrysler's fortunes around with his radical cab-forward concepts and dropped-headlight-fender trucks, and me and my ID classmates were lucky enough to visit his Detroit studio. There we saw some of the most mind-blowing ID sketching I've ever
By using data from fitness & location tracking apps, Yau is able to overlay hundreds of individual joggers' routes, just like Santoro's magic hands wielding a Prismacolor; but rather than newsprint, Yau's canvasses are maps of cities like New York, London, Paris, Chicago and more. In the cities with waterfronts, you can see that people really do like to run alongside water; and the build-up of lines looks like Santoro delineating a fender.
Nobody agrees on how to define a city. But the emergence of “natural cities” from social media data sets may change that, say computational geographers.
Jiang and Miao began with a dataset from the Brightkite social network, which was active between 2008 and 2010. The site encouraged users to log in with their location details so that they could see other users nearby. So the dataset consists of almost 3 million locations in the US and the dates on which they were logged.
To start off, Jiang and Miao simply placed a dot on a map at the location of each login. They then connected these dots to their neighbours to form triangles that end up covering the entire mainland US.
Next, they calculated the size of each triangle on the map and plotted this size distribution, which turns out to follow a power law. So there are lots of tiny triangles but only a few large ones.
Finally, the calculated the average size of the triangles and then coloured in all those that were smaller than average. The coloured areas are “natural cities”, say Jiang and Miao.
A new API tool that transforms open datasets so they can be accessed by a REST API is capturing the attention of local governments interested in implementing smart cities policies. The DataTank is a data publishing platform that can also be used as a plug-in with the CKAN open data platform. It is created and managed by the Belgium chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which operates as a social enterprise startup. ProgrammableWeb spoke with The DataTank’s Technical Lead Jan Vansteenlandt about the new open data/API tool and how it can be used to drive the smart cities agenda.
2014 may well be the year that the idea of ’smart cities’ reaches maturity and moves beyond one-off, showcase projects and – with the help of APIs – becomes the way city authorities and local governments manage their operations. Smart cities is often the term used to refer to the twin policy goals of using sensor technologies and open data strategies to better coordinate a city’s urban form, foster civic participation, manage resources and heighten metropolitan livability.
Instrumented cities are about a lot more than using CCTV to monitor streets. They're about using technology to make peoples' lives easier: making cities attractive places to live. In my home city of London I use the sensor network built into its public transport system to know when the next train or bus is due - and to navigate alternate routes in the event of traffic disruption.
Where next for the programme? Once you've got the data, it needs to be more widely available - and if you're trying to encourage improved parking usage it needs to be in the hands of the people trying to park. There's no point having to look at a meter to see how much it will cost, you need to be able to plan where to park in advance if you're going to encourage sustainable use of the system. That's why the next step is a parking app for smartphones and the web; with a longer term vision of merged parking and traffic information.
That's the future of the instrumented smart city: making the information it gathers available to citizens, to help them make better decisions, not leaving it in silos that might get analyzed someday. It's all part of the other side of the ubiquitous computing future: access to contextual information (or as I often call it, 'right time information'; the right information to the right person at the right time so they can make the right decision for the right outcome.).
The Japan Smart City Portal provides up-to-date information on the four regions of Japan (City of Yokohama, Toyota City, Keihanna Science City, City of Kitakyushu) that are forging ahead with a variety of verification experiments in order to create smart cities. Various projects involving verification experiments will be implemented in these four regions in order to encourage healthy economic activities that reduce the burden on the environment while improving QoL (Quality of Life.)
Discover how data controls the cities of Paris, London and Berlin in these hyperconnected times.
Watch_Dogs WeareData gathers available geolocated datain a non-exhaustive way: we only display the information for which we have been given the authorization by the sources. Yet, it is already a huge amount of data. You may even watch what other users are looking at on the website through Facebook connect.
What is the average speed of traffic in the city? How many cultural events are going on? What are the levels of noise and what are people tweeting about? Answers to these and many other questions are featured and visualized in this dashboard of Amsterdam. Play and experiment with it, make different combinations and get to know the city real-time!
How to use the City Dashboard
A city consists of many elements, shown on this dashboard as the following domains: transport, environment, statistics, economy, social, cultural & security. For each domain, the actual status is shown, based on blocks of 24 hours. The data is refreshed every 10 seconds. The information is captured in charts, graphs and on a map of the city. Larger dots and darker colors symbolize higher values and vice versa. On the map, you can choose which layers you want to see: from only one domain to interesting combinations and all of them together. Personalize what you are seeing and try to discover the city of Amsterdam on a whole new level!
Researchers in EPFL’s Signal Processing 5 Laboratory, working with PSA Peugeot Citroën, have developed an emotion detector based on the analysis of facial expressions in a car, using an infrared camera placed behind the steering wheel. The researchers say they can read facial expressions and identify which of the seven universal emotions a person is feeling : fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise, or suspicion…
Detecting emotions is only one indicator for improving driver safety and comfort. In this project, it was coupled with a fatigue detector that measures the percentage of eyelid closure.
The LTS5 is also working on detecting other states on drivers’ faces, such as distraction, and they are studying lip reading for use in vocal recognition (“OK car, cruise at 50 mph”).
So how would facial detection data showing irritation could be used in the real world? A calm voice (Scarlett Johansson from Her?) suggesting the driver calm down, or pull over and take a stress pill? A live display advising the driver?
(Smart Cities and Communities) Should we dream of electric cities & let the internet of things take over? Bristol thinks so. It's not alone. Over 41 cities in Europe have already signed a Green Digital Charter; 11 of them capital cities.
Green Digital Charter signatory cities commited to work with other cities on ICT and energy efficiency and undertook to decrease the direct carbon footprint of ICT by 30% within 10 years by the adoption of Energy Star and EU labelling schemes and training in energy efficiency behaviors. A Green Digital Charter toolkit is available.
Special attention is being given to the development of EU-China partnerships and close collaboration with the Covenant of Mayors. The Charter has been supported by the Networking intelligent Cities for Energy Efficiency (NiCE) funding stream. This has now finished, and for this reason the Smart Cities and Communities Platform is issuing a new invitation to participte in a major push to develop smart city applications and a smart city culture.
Parcourir la ville, la saisir en mouvement, et la restituer ensuite à travers une carte. Telle est la démarche de Mathias Poisson. Diplômé de l’École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (...)
Ses dessins, que l’on pourrait croire échappés d’une bande dessinée, n’ont rien de banal. Objets insolites, ils renversent l’idée habituelle que l’on se fait d’une carte et éveillent notre curiosité. Pour cet artiste, penser la ville s’articule en deux temps : d’abord, la marche s’offre comme un moyen pour la saisir dans sa complexité et ses aspects changeants. Puis, la carte permet de restituer « l’image de la ville »  - pour reprendre les mots de Kevin Lynch - que cette expérience urbaine a engendrée. Les cartes de Mathias Poisson nous donnent un véritable éclairage sur le lieu traversé. L’artiste-promeneur expose une facette du grand kaléidoscope par lequel aménageurs, urbanistes, géographes, architectes, paysagistes, chercheurs en sciences humaines et sociales et citoyens pensent la ville.
In order to thrive over the next century cities will have to change. Here's how.
Last week, the Ditchley Foundation in Oxford, England, hosted over 30 academics, practitioners, government, and non-governmental organization leaders from five continents to contemplate the rapid urbanization of the globe and address challenges and opportunities across multiple geographies, economies, and political landscapes.
Visit the link to find specific insights and processes that could significantly shape how we think about global cities over the next century.
MENTAL MODELS AND CHANNELS TO ACCELERATE "CHEMICAL REACTIONS"
We still seem to be looking at our 21st-century cities largely through a 20th-century lens. This is limiting the alchemy, not catalyzing it. Urban planning remains largely focused just on the physical environment, not on socio-economic results. Community is moving towards becoming a question of 'geographic cohesion,' not geographic place in a traditional sense. There was great conversation about not trying to retrofit old models of working, but rather adapting the way people and cities work with newly available channels and technologies.
Comment vivre dans nos villes sur un espace de plus en plus réduit ? Comment les mégacités vont-elles héberger leurs habitants au regard du prix exponentiel des loyers ? De quelle manière redonner des couleurs et du naturel à notre environnement urbain ?
La ville en tant qu’entreprise, un endroit d’épanouissement de soi, de luttes sociales ou bien un endroit de grands projets rêvés. Le documentaire "La ville du futur – Le futur de la ville" montre les métropoles européennes de Madrid, Londres et Hambourg dans des situations différents et leurs habitants, à la fois comme créateurs et victimes.
The vision of SMARTIE is to create a distributed framework for IoT-based applications sharing large volumes of heterogeneous information. This framework is envisioned to enable end-to-end security and trust in information delivery for decision-making purposes following data owner’s privacy requirements. New challenges identified for privacy, trust and reliability are:
• Provide trust and quality‐of‐information in shared information models to enable re‐use across many applications.
• Provide secure exchange of data between IoT devices and consumers of their information.
• Provide protection mechanisms for vulnerable devices.
SMARTIE will address these challenges within the context of Smart Cities. A smart city controller handling data for the city must show that the information collected from different devices are communicated and stored in a secure way.
Privacy protection and access control to the data and objects is necessary to convince data owners to share information and to protect the city infrastructure. SMARTIE envisions a data-centric paradigm with the “information management and services” plane as a unifying umbrella, which will operate above heterogeneous network devices and data sources and will provide advanced secure information services
Study the way people make mobile phone calls in metropolitan areas and you can see a city breathe, say computer scientists.
These guys begin with a database of mobile phone calls made by people in the 31 Spanish cities that have populations larger than 200,000. The data consists of the number of unique individuals using a given cell tower (whether making a call or not) for each hour of the day over almost two months.
Given the area that each tower covers, Louail and co work out the density of individuals in each location and how it varies throughout the day. And using this pattern, they search for “hotspots” in the cities where the density of individuals passes some specially chosen threshold at certain times of the day.
The results reveal some fascinating patterns in city structure. For a start, every city undergoes a kind of respiration in which people converge into the center and then withdraw on a daily basis, almost like breathing. And this happens in all cities. This “suggests the existence of a single ‘urban rhythm’ common to all cities,” says Louail and co.
During the week, the number of phone users peaks at about midday and then again at about 6 p.m. During the weekend the numbers peak a little later: at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Interestingly, the second peak starts about an hour later in western cities, such as Sevilla and Cordoba.
Solo nos queda aportar la reflexión de que las auténticas ciudades inteligentes no dependen de la tecnología, sino de las conexiones entre sus neuronas que son las personas (ciudadanos y agentes de gestión). Serán realmente “inteligentes” si siguen funcionando y adaptándose… aunque las desenchufemos.
Comprender las dinámicas que dan forma a nuestras ciudades es una tarea compleja por el cumulo de interacciones no lineales que intervienen. La ciudad como la mente humana es un fenomeno emergente que demanda de nosotros nuevas métricas y formas de representación. Si embargo la unidad de comunicación básica, el nivel de interacción entre personas, es el que debemos esforzarnos por entender, interpretar y fomentar.
Ethel Baraona Pohl + César Reyes | dpr-barcelona
 La foto de cabecera corresponde al proyecto de Fran Castillo “CITYDATASENSING“, ganador del “CITY-SENSE: Shaping our environment with real-time data” organizado por el IAAC + HP