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.).
As part of the UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities, the London 2062 project is gathering evidence about the forces and factors that shape London, identifying decision points, and debating how the city will change over the five decades between London 2012 and London 2062. This process involves synthesising the diverse expertise within the academic community at UCL and elsewhere, together with London’s citizens, government, professions, artists, media and other public institutions.
Imagining the Future City: London 2062 (free download) is an edited collection based on the London 2062 project from UCL’s Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities. The London 2062 project engaged academics, policy makers and practitioners, providing a forum for serious debate about the challenges and opportunities for London in the five decades following the Olympics.
The book is divided into four sections, considering London in terms of Things, Connections, Powerand Dreams. The book features contributions from leading academic thinkers at UCL and from those involved in shaping London on the ground, through policy and practice. The authors consider the future of London from multiple viewpoints, including transport, energy, smart infrastructure, water, population, housing and the economy.
The aim of this book, and the London 2062 programme, is to open discussion about the future of London. What is the future we want to see for London? Which priorities for a global city are in opposition? How can we meet carbon emission targets and deliver new infrastructure in the 21st Century?
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
The problem of city boundariesWhen analysing urban structure, we consider the city as being composed of many layers of infrastructure which underpin its social and economic functioning . These are interconnected and coevolve, and lead to many different definitions of the city's physical extent. Thus the definition of a city can be quite blurred with respect to these layers. Cities are usually analysed within their administrative boundaries, or within the extent of their urbanised area defined in terms of their population densities , . Nevertheless, a precise definition of a city's physical extent is crucial to any statistical analysis and extremely relevant when measuring fundamental relations, as for example in Gibrat's law and Zipf's Law , , . Here we deal with a city, London, which has been capacitated by an artificial boundary imposed to limit its growth and as such, it is representative of a number of world cities such as Paris, São Paulo, Hong Kong, and Seoul, that are similarly constrained.City growth as a street network can be understood as the coevolution of two distinct phenomena, based on the hierarchy of its roads. On the one hand, we have the growth of major roads (including motorways, class A and class B roads) and, on the other, the growth of minor roads. A and B roads represent the backbone of the city, concentrating the main flows of people and materials sustaining the city. Minor roads divide the blocks created by the A and B roads into smaller areas, and are mainly devoted to local residential and business use .
The concept of the smart city emerged during the last decade as a fusion of ideas about how information and communications technologies might improve the functioning of cities, enhancing their efficiency, improving their competitiveness, and providing new ways in which problems of poverty, social deprivation, and poor envi- ronment might be addressed . The essence of the idea revolves around the need to coordinate and integrate technologies that have hitherto been developed separately from one another but have clear synergies in their operation and need to be coupled so that many new opportunities which will improve the quality of life can be realized. The term smart city in fact has many faces . Intelligent cities, virtual cities, digital cities, information cities are all perspectives on the idea that ICT is central to the operation of the future city . Our research will embrace this challenge in the belief that coupling, coordination and integration are required so that future and emerging technologies can best be exploited in the interests of the community at large. An essential strand in our approach is to use ICT to engage the community through diverse instruments and initiatives that build upon online engagement in solving the key problems of cities, using the kinds of computer-based tools, techniques, methods and organisational structures that we will research here. To focus our research, we define seven goals.
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
Every building tells a unique story reflecting both the programmatic content and the singularity of the site, and the Tour Signal La Defense proposal for Paris by In Studio Daniel Libeskind radiates a new spirit with a vibrant, sustainable, mixed-use development.
The powerful, unique icon is expressed in a dynamic volume- a reflection of the aim to create a building before its time. Two intertwined ribbons spiral together formally and programmatically, creating a tower, and open space between, with south-facing vertical gardens to act as biotopes for workers, visitors and residents.
Find more images and project details at the article link...
An EU-funded project is building platforms to detect patterns in how people use urban spaces.
Maps don't typically convey time very well. They're static snapshots of a moment in history. A handful of animated maps that do a good job combining time and space using either transit data or geo-tagged social-media hits.
Now a new project, called Geographies of Time, is trying to do something similar with a more typical two-dimensional map. The effort is part of a broader EU-funded projects called UrbanSensing that's building platforms to detect patterns in how people use urban spaces.
Giorgia Lupi, the Ph.D. researcher at Milan Politecnico behind the project, began with Milan. Using tens of thousands of geo-tagged tweets, she and colleagues divided the map of the city into a fine-grained grid. The tweets were then divided into eight three-hour time intervals (from midnight to 3 a.m., 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., etc.). And the boxes in the grid were digitally colored based on the time window when Twitter was locally most active.
The latest bike-share systems enable users to monitor cycle availability and docking station spaces via near real-time online maps. These websites often specify and supply an applications pro- gramming interface (API) for external software developers to ac- cess the underlying data. In addition, a number of system operators release datasets pertaining to individual journeys made over a particular time period. Both types of data offer insights in the usage of particular bike-shares and provide a ready basis for utilisation in transport research. A small number of previous stud- ies have been undertaken and generally concern the characteristics of a single city’s system, often with a focus on user demographics. Jensen et al. (2010), for example, analysed 11.6 million journeys of the Vélo’v bicycle sharing system in Lyon, constructing a map showing the likely flows of the bicycles across the city. Several characteristics emerged; namely greatly enhanced usage during public transport strikes, and variations in average speeds through the day such as for example, a small but significant increase in speed just before 9 a.m. as cycle commuters hurry to complete their journeys before the start of normal working hours. One intriguing result was that the average speed during the morning commute was greatest on Wednesdays, the authors conjecturing that this was due to a greater proportion of users on Wednesdays being men, due to the tradition of at-home childcare by women on this day.