Toward Utilizing the Technology in Urban Design

The concurrent technology has influenced various expertise and provided opportunities for others so that they can have access to more resources. The technology effects on science positively and pushes them to be impressive advancements. Thus analyzing more complex data with high precision today, is easily achievable for the scientist as well as Urban Designers.

Cities Today

Cities are the most complicated and the biggest invention of human in history. Today more than half of the population of the world live in these areas. These populated cities must possess maximum comfort and benefits. Residents of main cities demand convenient accommodation. As a result application of high technology in various aspect of cities must be a priority.

using technology in urban design
Using new technology in Smart Cities (Photo by Hugh Han)

The Role of Planners and Designers

Urban Planners and Urban Designers must work toward utilization of the technology. Whether their plan is research-based or it is a practical project. Their ultimate target must be taking advantage of this high tech softwares.

Since the 1960s, We can clearly see that computer softwares have been consistently utilized for the purpose of analyzing data, required in architecture and Urban Planning. However, more specifically in Urban Design, this scenario doesn’t have a long record. only recently we have had access to these programs that are tailored particularly for Urban Design.
Urban Designers have used computer software to create three-dimensional models or to stimulate a design in an artificial environment. Then they would use it to represent or depict our model. But we didn’t cautiously use these softwares to analysis the necessary data and crucial measurements in Urban Design.

using technology in urban design

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

New Information Provided Thanks to Technology

Fortunately, in the current years, we are witnessing an increase in the usage of these softwares chiefly due to the presence of more novel tools. These tools have the capability of measuring statistical and analytical aspects of a project with great accuracy. On top of that, these programs provide more information about the actual model.
We are going to introduce these new tools in the upcoming articles. Just briefly it is worth knowing that these programs give us accurate calculation regarding the moisture, temperature degree, amount of dirt and dust, and etc, in the air as well as noise pollution. The scale of These measurements varies from a room to a block to an entire street. These programs are very accessible nowadays to both experts and even common enthusiasts in this field.

using technology in urban design
Spirmo personal air quality tester (Spirmo.com)

This is a turning point for Urban Designers mainly because, in the past, this information was unavailable. Simply it was impossible to calculate factors such as density of moisture from node to node or street to street in each province.
Another beneficial feature is the possibility of having a visual representation of these details and data. Urban Design experts now can record a video of a structure or street by their cellphone and process that by using these programs and get precisely processed and analyzed data. For instance, it is possible to have a time-lapse video of a crowded city and extract the number of passages or a sampled population.

using technology in urban design
Analyzing videos by cell phones video recorder (Datafromsky.com)

Old Theories are Changing

Based on the output of these modern age softwares and the calculation of diverse environmental factors within a space, now we can see that some of the proved theories are rejected or should be adjusted. Today we have this capability to convert those proved claims in favor of our design.
It’s evident that in the past we hadn’t have precis assisting programs that could analyze urban space in great depth. But today by using these new tools that aren’t very expensive we are capable of breaking down the crucial attributes of each meter of an urban space and record them. Moreover, we can have a new understanding of them.

Opportunity for Advancement

The flow of 1960s and 1970s and the approach of those ages for Urban Planning provided them with assisting software. This approach brought a new phase to their work. Today we are experiencing the same revolution in Urban Design. Experts in this domain can take advantages of novel programs in order to alter outdated procedures and lounge for the best outcomes in this field.

What is Responsive City?

We heard a lot about Smart City and its advantages, but the term of Responsive City sounds so new and strange. Are both Responsive and Smart City in the same meaning? What are the extra advantages of Responsive City? What are the basic requirements for reaching Responsive City?

In the last decade, some cities have peaked in smartness by their instruments and their management rules; However, their citizens don’t know about these changes, therefore they feel that their city has not been changed remarkably from their point of view. It seems like these advances in digitalisation of instruments briefed in enhancing the city operation, and are separated from the city dwellers. So it can be said that these technologies have been used in invisible part of the city, thus, citizens cannot recognise it practically. In shorthand, the benefits of Smart City is not engaged with citizens directly, that’s why they are unable to define it clearly or observe it apparently.

Another justification that why people haven’t been excited a lot, is that smart devices are boring! They are not as intelligent as a human kind, so after working with them, we feel that they are not so functional as they seem to. All of us probably feel this situation. As Kent Larson claimed, “I don’t believe in smart homes, that’s kind of a bogus concept.” The Artificial Intelligence, sensors and smart technologies still couldn’t make the best decision instead of human mind. Now, I prefer not to talk about the future of technology, but in the existing domain, can we use human aid for technology to have the best decision? This is the main question.

Designed features can make cities safer, but getting it wrong can be plain frightening

City planners and designers can help make spaces safer in many ways. One strategy is known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED, pronounced “sep-ted”). This approach is based on the idea that specific built and social environmental features can deter criminal behaviour.

Breaking up smooth surfaces to prevent skateboarders (like this makeover in Melbourne’s Lincoln Square) is hostile architecture. Sasha Petrova, CC BY-SA

Strategies can be as simple as good maintenance, like rapidly removing graffiti, which can deter some offenders.

Another method is to build houses, streets, transport hubs and retail settings in a way that promotes visibility. This can include making windows and entrances of buildings face each other and clever use of lighting. The enhanced visibility this creates is known as “passive surveillance”, which can deter some offenders.

But in some cases design to prevent crime goes too far and creates hostile spaces. Examples of such unfriendly architecture include the use of metal studs or bolts to break up smooth surfaces to discourage skateboarders.

In some countries, spikes have been installed in places where people tend to sleep rough. An extreme example of this is the idea of coin-operated benches with retractable spikes.

Too much security can lead to sterile places no one wants to use. It can also result in locations that exclude certain groups of people, such as the young or the homeless. And some of these principles, if misapplied, can increase crime and fear of crime, reducing quality of life.

Metal studs are used in some places, like in Marseille, France, to deter rough sleepers. Wikimedia Commons

Crime prevention through design

In 1973, architect Oscar Newman led a ground-breaking study comparing two New York social housing projects. Van Dyke (a high-rise building) had crime rates more than double those of Brownsville (a low-rise building). Given the similarity in populations, Newman argued the physical design of the buildings could explain this difference in crime.

This was the beginning of crime prevention through environmental design – a set of design principles now used, and sometimes mandated, in cities around the world, including Australia. These principles were used in the Perth City Link project, reconnecting the central business district with the entertainment district by sinking the railway line.

 

Public spaces were designed to be overlooked by users of surrounding buildings and spaces. Locations and activities in the area were connected by wide and highly visible pathways, CCTV was installed and lighting levels optimised to promote the use of pathways and spaces after dark.

Use of crime prevention principles is wide and varied. Examples range from installing signage to show ownership and deter outsiders, to installing better locks, doors and windows. Another strategy is to use permeable fences that provide barriers to access without compromising visibility between buildings and the street.

Keeping a place well maintained and looking friendly (like this space in Korea that underwent a makeover) can make people feel safer. Screenshot YouTube

Studies show these principles, when applied appropriately, can be successful. In the Netherlands, the risk of residential burglary fell by 95% in new estates and 80% in existing homes after these ideas were implemented as a wider wave of crime prevention in the late 1980s.

Similarly, in the UK several studies have shown significant reductions in crime through using principles such as building houses to face each other and the use of permeable fencing and managing foliage to maximise visibility. Retail crime has also been reduced by, for instance, configuring and reducing the height of aisles so staff can see them more easily.

Hostile design

Like all good ideas, designing to prevent crime can, in some cases, cause harm. Failure to assess crime risks before implementing solutions can result in poor outcomes that don’t deal with the local issues, which can make these worse and waste resources. This has been labelled as the “dark side” of design.

Skateboarders can no longer skate around Lincoln Square, in Melbourne, because of these metal bolts and the rough brick surface. Sasha Petrova, CC BY-SA

Building a large wall around a religious building based on a perceived crime risk, for instance, might not be the best response. This is particularly the case if, when the crime risks are analysed, the building has only suffered incidents of minor graffiti. The expensive wall then needlessly divides the community and provides a blank canvas for more graffiti.

Then there’s what is called hostile or defensive architecture. This is often used to discourage certain groups, which are often not actual criminals, from using specific spaces.

Examples include:

  • metal studs and bolts to break up smooth surfaces and discourage skateboarders
  • the “mosquito” sound device that emits a high-pitched frequency to repel gathering youths
  • loud music (often classical) to discourage lingering of certain groups
  • pink lights that accentuate acne to discourage youths from congregating in certain spaces
  • water sprinklers that don’t really water anything
  • spikes to deter rough sleepers
  • barriers placed around hot air vents to exclude or discourage rough sleeping or excessive lingering.
Coin-operated retractable spikes on benches, as shown in this art installation, could be the next step in hostile architecture.

How can we use the principles better?

There are certainly benefits to using design elements to make people feel safer. But these design principles are not outcomes. Reducing crime should be a process where a risk assessment of crime comes first, and the solution of dealing with it comes in response to this.

In NSW, it’s mandatory to include a report assessing new large developments against principles of crime prevention through environment design. Crime risk assessment is part of this process, which should be a positive outcome. But such assessments are generally inconsistent, incomplete, too generic and of poor quality. One reason is because it’s difficult to obtain up-to-date crime data at the scale required to assess a small location.

theconversation.com

 

A Smart City Government Has A Rather Bigger Role To Play

History proves that cities have always been the centre of civilization. Be it social or economic, the innovation and the developments taking place in cities have always found its reverberations reaching other parts of the globe. Today, urbanisation is spreading around the world at a tremendous rate. More than half of the global population lives in cities and the number is still counting. A developed city like London has seen a population rise from 1 to 8.5 million in 140 years while even developing cities like Mumbai, Lagos, Sao Paulo, and Istanbul have seen a minimum 200,000 people flowing in each year in the recent decades. Lagos has witnessed a staggering 600,000 people moving in per year with a rate of 70 people per hour.

While meeting the demands of the advancing population, a city government has a major role to play. From providing employment opportunities, quality education to reducing traffic congestion, and lowering taxes and crime rates, a city government has a number of responsibilities to look after which can be accomplished through an expansive approach. For a city to create a better society, the local government needs to act vigorously to create and sustain a friendly environment to live, work and play. That is the key to developing a ‘smart city’ environment.

A smart city creates a digital, physical and social infrastructure with an integrative approach, while also maintains the quality of service understanding the needs of the citizens. In the process to achieve this goal, it eliminates the unnecessary exploitation of natural and man-made resources to make the entire city operation more efficient. Furthermore, it also enhances the access to services and makes the processes more transparent. Hence, to create such smart cities, city governments are better positioned, as they are flexible and have the opportunity to act quickly, targeting the individual communities and serving them immediately.

Coming to the gist of this article, today cities are extensively using technology for a variety of operations, revolutionising the urban life. Here are some key areas where city governments can engage more inclusively while ensuring that the approach is solution-driven and not tech-driven.

Potential Areas Of Improvement

Smart technology has the potential to make improvements and solve the concrete urban problems. Forbes Technology Council has come up with a list of areas that the smart cities need to focus on with their tech investments. Have a look at the list given below:

  • Transportation – Smart cities require to concentrate on people movement and enhance those efficiencies.
  • IoT Lighting Control System – Focus needs to be on smart lightings that reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and maintenance costs and provide a safe environment with smart sensing tech and real-time data.
  • Storm Drains – Water runoff is one of the key factors a city needs to focus on. Because it can directly impact local drinking water. Smart cities should attempt to deploy smart drainage systems and filtration that could substantially improve the living conditions.
  • Sustainable Energy – The rising demands and development in smart cities will lead to more consumption of energy. Hence, smart cities require to create sustainable sources of energy by using innovative ideas.
  • Universal High-Speed Internet – It can be seen that the major cities around the world have better internet speeds than the low-income areas. Governments can bridge this gap through law.
  • Affordability And Safety – Affordability and safety should be the key priorities for every city. Smart cities should focus on problems like homelessness that is today one of the key problems some of the U.S cities are suffering from.
  • Integration And Partnership With Tech Companies – Government leaders should collaborate with tech companies to receive the best recommendations and platforms that can facilitate cities to deploy technologies through the best possible approach.
  • Prioritising Areas Of Change – City governments should attempt to create the smart city environment considering the areas that need to be prioritised for integration and change as they move from the start to finish.
  • Data Security – Security is the most important aspect of smart cities. City governments need to ensure that the entire city data is secure and not vulnerable to breach.
  • Avoiding Silos – Government leaders should collaborate with tech companies that ensure prevention of silos.

Understanding The Power Of Smart City Data

Smart Solutions Adopted by City Government For Data Security Smart city data is the lifeblood of smart solutions and can do a lot more than we can possibly imagine. Data has the power to address the real needs of citizens. The intuitive design incorporated in data capturing systems, allows cities to understand the bigger picture of the city well and understand the city users needs more clearly while learning their behavioural patterns that are recurrent.

Let us take an example to understand the power of data. Smart city technology holds good for land use planning that is a vital function in every city. Land use planning can become much smarter as smart city technologies provide data that is accurate and in real-time. Data sets from planning departments, engineering and transportation could be combined into one single platform, which provides all the decision-makers with an equal access to the same data, significantly improving the land use planning. Uber has already set an example in this area. It recently launched a website called ‘Uber Movement’ that enables city leaders and urban planners to make informed decisions using the Uber’s data. An innovative way of using data for city planning.

Rotterdam, a major port city in the Netherlands has demonstrated another good example of leveraging smart city technology. The municipality of Rotterdam is working on creating a 3D model that will help the city imbibe the real smartness. When fully developed, the model will be utilised for simulation goals, urban planning and design, city management, analysis, and city marketing. Of course, the 3D model will gather the city data and provide a smart solution customised to specific requirements. It will be able to solve questions like ‘how does the sound travel through the city of Rotterdam, ‘how far do the roots of trees reach’, ‘to what depth are underground containers positioned’, and much more. Using a simulation, potential implications for new construction plans will be easy to conceive. Going forward, the city of Rotterdam has future plans to upgrade the model and make it available for use by 2020. The advanced version will be able to provide information like real-time data on traffic, present water levels, and the filling capacity of garbage bins.

Currently, the 3D model is able to provide insights into planned projects and the consequences of the projects, helping the city government to make more comprehensive city planning choosing the better options.

The 3D model being developed by Rotterdam is a state-of-the-art technology that shows how the city data and the innovative ways of using and implementing its results can lead to far-reaching improvements.

Refrence : www.smartcity.press

Is The Future On Smart City Roads Safe With Connected Cars?

According to Gartner predictions, the number of connected vehicles on the road will reach a quarter billion by 2020. This will make a roadway for new in-vehicle services and automated driving capabilities. The next five years will witness a dramatic rise in the number of vehicles that will be equipped with automated capabilities. Out of this number, roughly 60-75% will be able to consume, create and share web-based data, ultimately showing the world the biggest and the smartest element of the Internet of Things – the connected vehicles.

But how is all this going to happen? Do you know that connected cars can do a lot more than just drive you safely to your destination? Connected cars are nothing but robots on wheels ready to communicate and listen to your commands. There is much more to know about these sophisticated smart vehicles. So before you own a connected car in future, it is important that you know all about its ins and outs so that you are as smart as your vehicle.

The Capabilities Of A Connected Car

Connected cars are tens or even hundreds of computers integrated into a single unit. We know that these sophisticated cars can talk to other cars, exchange data and alert drivers to potential collisions. But even more, they can talk and connect to every single sensor that is embedded along the route. These sensors could be the ones that are installed at bus stops, signboards, traffic signal and those which relay real-time traffic updates and rerouting alerts. Additionally, they can even talk to your home, office and all the smart devices that you own, serving as a digital assistant that collects information you require throughout the day.

However, to perform all the functions, connected vehicles need the cloud. Because they need massive amounts of data that can be gathered through the cloud. The modern automobiles are already enabled with speedy processing power. As about 100 million lines of software code are required to run a typical luxury vehicle. In case of connected cars the amount of data flowing to and fro from them will move at rocket speed and so they will demand cloud storage capabilities and scalability.

With the Cloud’s ability for building and developing apps and programs that are used by cars, it reveals that connected cars will be able to access your apps, devices, and preferences allowing the car to tailor your driving experience. For example, your car can check the current weather, your to-do-list from the calendar to enable you to plan your route for the day. If you are behind the schedule, it may reroute your way eliminating the traffic-prone areas.

The use of connected cars on roads will help smart cities to reduce traffic congestion and enhance safety. While driving connected cars will automatically transmit data including speed, position, and direction and send alerts to other cars if a crash is close at hand.

This vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication is already in its inception in the US Department of transportation that plans to enable V2V communication. In the meantime, smart cities are exploring ways to make the connected cars the centre of energy efficient traffic management systems.

Smart cities have begun to see what connected cars could bring to the future. The automobile industry is witnessing a revolutionary change of which the Cloud is one of the key technological forces driving the revolution.

Connected Cars Can Lie, Disrupting The Entire Traffic Management System

How Connected Cars Can Disrupt Traffic Management System?The Michigan Traffic Laboratory at the University of Michigan and the RobustNet Research Group are working on ensuring that the connected cars of tomorrow are secure and protected from vulnerabilities. Until now their research has shown that connected cars are comparatively easy to trick. A single car that is transmitting false data could lead to massive traffic jams and several cars crash shutting down the entire traffic system. The major concern is that, during the research, it was found that the weakness is not in the inherent communication technology but in the algorithms used to manage the traffic flow.

Algorithms are used to feed in a variety of inputs such as how many vehicles are present in a particular location around an intersection which helps in reducing the collective delay at traffic junctions.

One of the traffic control algorithm nicknamed ‘I-SIG’ assumes the inputs it receives are honest which is not a safe assumption. The hardware and software in the connected cars can be altered by the car’s diagnostic ports or the wireless system. For example, if an attacker wants to compromise the I-SIG system he could do it simply by hacking his own car. He could drive to a target intersection and park nearby.

The research shows that when the attacker parks the car he could tap into two weaknesses in the algorithm that controls the traffic lights. He could extend the time of the green and red lights in a particular lane.

In the first vulnerability, the research found that the attacker could make the car to transmit false data that her car will be joining the line of traffic late. With this, the algorithm will extend the green light for that car (that is not passing) and correspondingly extend the red light for other lanes making the cars to wait longer than needed.

Secondly, the I-SIG algorithm is developed with the fact that all cars are unable to communicate. Hence, the second weakness lies in the fact that the algorithm assumes the real-time location and speed of non-communicating vehicles by analysing the driving patterns of the connected vehicles. So, if a connected car reports that it is waiting a long distance back from an intersection, the algorithm will infer there is a long line of non-communicating cars ahead of it. Ultimately it will adjust the traffic lights according to the false data it has gathered.

Impact Of The False Data And Algorithmic Assumptions

The weaknesses highlighted by the research could be used by people who just want to commute faster. It could be used by criminals who might seek to adjust the traffic lights to ease their way from the crime scene or an approaching police vehicle.

This could also result in financial or political threats where a group of attackers shut down the key intersections in a city and force a ransom payment.

Therefore to prevent such dangerous situations transportation sector and the cybersecurity field need to collaborate to ensure that efforts are made to protect the safety and the security of the traffic management system including the connected cars.

According to the research, algorithms like the I-SIG system should validate the data they receive from the connected cars prior to using it. For this, road sensors could be used across the smart cities to actually double-check the truthfulness of the data.

The initial phase of this research on the security issues in the smart transportation of the future aims at finding out more about the weaknesses and the ways to protect the entire traffic management systems of which road infrastructure, drivers, and cars are the crucial elements.

The connected cars pave the way to a host of opportunities for new products and services and enhanced business efficiency. But before proceeding, organisations and individuals need to consider the privacy and security risks that are involved.

We are positive that new security standards and safety practices will emerge in the automobiles industry in the years to come. But that may take years to come alive before they find their way into connected vehicles.

Refrence : www.smartcity.press

A Clean Environment For Smart Cities To Breathe

Pollution is one of the severe challenges faced by smart cities. And as already predicted that the population in smart cities will grow exponentially, the fight with pollution will rather become more intense in the coming years.

Currently, more than 50% of the global population is residing in less than 2% of the earth’s surface area. This has lead to the increasing traffic, industry and energy needs in the urban space that already accounts for about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Literally speaking, cities are breathing stuffy air. The report published by WHO in May 2018 reveals that 90% of the world’s population breathes air containing pollutants that are much higher than the recommended limit. Furthermore, it also reveals that the effects of air pollution lead to seven million deaths each year. However, WHO is positive that cities are capable of improving their air quality through local measures. This can be implemented in the form of smart infrastructure or rather simple solutions like changing traffic regulations in the highly polluted areas of the city. Or, providing incentives for cyclists or pedestrians. But to implement these measures cities require information on how pollutant levels change over time in specific locations. For the same, the German tech giant, Siemens has come up with a potential solution for smart cities. What is it? Let us find it out from the discussion given below.

Intelligent Software To Bring A Breath Of Fresh Air

Siemens has developed an intelligent software that is capable of accurately predicting the degree of air pollution in smart cities by tapping into the abilities of artificial neural networks. The software can give information on air quality several days in advance, allowing cities and their citizens to take measures to improve the quality of life. According to Siemens, this is the “smartest tool available for cities to improve their air quality.”

Dr. Ralph Grothmann from Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) developed the air pollution forecasting model that is based on neural networks. Neural networks are computer models that work like a human brain. Grotham says that these networks learn to make predictions and recognize relationships by undergoing training. His model relies on deep neural networks that use more layers of artificial neurons as opposed to models built in the past. Neural networks is a proven technology at Siemens for many years. For instance, the network has been used to predict levels of raw materials prices, economic activity and also the electricity generated from renewable energies.

Pilot Project In London

While developing the forecasting tool, Grotham relied on the emissions and weather data collected by 150 sensor stations in the city of London. This data helped in training the system. Emission measurements were gathered for gases including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. The development of these emissions was then integrated with the weather data for the same period of time. During the course, factors such as humidity, solar radiation, cloud cover, and temperature were considered. Specific events such as weekends, work days, sports events, trade shows etc. were also programmed into the model as these have the impact on traffic and pollution in different ways.

Depending on the final data and the seasonal and real-time weather forecasts, the neural network had to learn to predict the degree of air pollution. The training process involved hundreds of iterations and the forecasting system began to make better predictions with more accuracy. Now the system is able to predict the level of air quality across 150 places in London with an accuracy rate of more than 90%.

In case the system predicts a high level of air pollution in a particular location in the city, the government can take temporary measures like blocking heavy-duty vehicles from entering the area for certain hours or giving a free ride to citizens to use local public transportation. Additionally, it also allows health conscious people to avoid certain areas that are highly stuffy to breathe.

Siemens – Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Project

Singapore Smart City Project Siemens has named its cloud-based intelligent software as ‘City Air Management (CyAM).’ At World Summit in Singapore, the company announced that CyAM collects data on air pollution from the sensors installed across the city and displays the predictions on a dashboard. These forecasts are made up to five days in advance.

Siemens revealed that this software can help smart cities to take measures for reducing nitrogen oxides and atmospheric particulate matter. The system can recommend up to 17 measures which can be acted upon by the city at short notice.

Siemens has collaborated with Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC) to deploy CyAM in the Guangzhou Development District in China. CyAM will be deployed in the Green City Digital Platform which is a new urban hub (smart city project) in the SSGKC.

Going further, Siemens will also set up a Green City Digital Exhibition Center in a business park situated within SSGKC. This initiative will provide real-time air quality monitoring, assessment, recommendations on technology measures and impact prediction. The center will be developed in an area approximating to 250 sq.m and is prepared to be ready by the first quarter of 2019.

Smart Cities Focusing On Improving Air Quality

Zurich

Citizens in Zurich are happy with the smart city initiatives implemented by the city. Thanks to the large investments made in smart tech that focuses on improving the quality of life of its citizens. One of its successful projects is ‘OpenSense’ that uses ultrafine particle maps created with measurements from its mobile air pollution monitoring network to develop the iOS and Android applications – The Health-Optimal Route Planner. The app provides the citizens with a health-optimal routing service.

Qatar

Air quality in Qatar has become a priority due to increasing population and heavy car use. The Qatar Foundation (QF) is committed to taking measures in enhancing the environment of the city. QF has selected Hawa’ak Environment Monitoring System which provides a detailed and comprehensive recording of potentially harmful gases in the environment.

Downtown Oklahoma City

The air pollution sensors in the city capture data on ozone and particulate matter which can be hazardous for health. The sensor stations record weather conditions, wind speed and direction, temperature, rainfall and relative humidity. Additionally, the city is carrying out educational programmes related to air quality and environment to bring awareness to children and families.

Chicago

Chicago has rolled out a major initiative to test the limits of big data and urban sensor networks with their Array of Things project. The sensors in the city will provide data on air quality including measurements on carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels. It also has plans to record pollutants such as volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and ozone in coming years.

Boston

The city has deployed ‘Elm’ the network of air monitoring sensors that is fully integrated with a real-time view of air quality in local communities. These devices are placed in areas where citizens can get the most out of it.

Barcelona

CITI-SENSE team in the city have developed an application called ‘CityAir’ that shows different degrees of air pollution with the help of colour codes. The app creates an air quality map that is generated by the citizens. With this app, people can rate the air quality by giving a definite colour code. For example, green can be given if air quality is very good, yellow if air quality is good, orange if air quality is poor and red if air quality is very poor. Other citizens using the app can see the air quality in a particular zone, comment in real-time and avoid that area – especially if they are extremely sensitive to air pollution.

Air quality defines the health and quality of life in smart cities. The initiatives implemented by smart cities around the world are commendable as they pave the way to a more sustainable and livable tomorrow. Thanks to industrial giants like Siemens that come up with great solutions to combat the challenges.

Refrence : www.smartcity.press

Making smart cities cyber-secure

A smart city must also be a safe city, with a good disaster response system. V Rishi Kumar reports With the implementation of the Smart Cities Mission moving forward in a phased manner and technology forming the backbone of smart cities’ architecture and governance, one of the major challenges identified for the future is cyber security.

“There cannot be a smart city before it being a safe city, with a good disaster-response system,” says Claudio Simao, Chief Technology Officer, Hexagon AG, a Sweden-based leading solutions provider for smart cities. His observation sums up the importance of making the upcoming 100 Smart Cities under the National Mission secure physically and in the cyber world.

Threatening landscape?

In fact, integrated technologies assist in efficient delivery of services and there is optimism about their constructive impact on our cities.

However, the more technology you use, the higher the threat of it being compromised. Cyber attacks, which earlier targeted data centres, are now directed towards numerous systems and devices spread across a smart city. A single intrusion may leave the entire smart city network compromised.

Hence, connected IoT (internet of things) devices need to be protected, including software, hardware and data. Smart cities would need to be geared towards insulating huge networks that are bound to become the nerves of the city.

Says NSN Murty, PWC Partner, Smart Cities, “Technology forms the core of the Smart Cities Mission. If that is progressing well, we are on the right track. Sensitising our cities on how to use technology for effective governance is the first step to achieve the end goal.”

In a report brought out by PWC, in association with Data Security Council of India, Rama Vedashree, CEO of DSCI, notes, “While the Smart City initiative focusses on sustainable development of our cities and harnessing digital technologies for an integrated citizen-services delivery, it demands a strong focus on cyber security.”

“Globally, countries have deployed technologies and controls to avoid loss of data, network lock-down and stalling of critical services that can otherwise cripple a city’s functioning. We also need to take appropriate measures to create cyber-secure smart cities……” she adds.

The Indian Smart City technology architecture is based on four logical layers of sensors, communication, data and application layers. The technology across these four layers works in an integrated manner to deliver smart city services.

However, the ground analysis of a few smart cities suggests that the technology powering them is prone to vulnerabilities, which can lead to potential social, health, economic and reputational risks.

The potential for challenges, lack of granular guidelines and regulations and India-specific issues add to the complexity of the risk landscape for Indian smart cities.

Enhanced budget

The significance of the Smart Cities Mission can be judged from the fact that its allocation was doubled during Budget 2018-19 to Rs.2.04 lakh crore.

“All hundred cities have been declared and now we are beginning to see physical manifestation of the city strategy proposals on the ground. Cities took some time to adapt and understand the novel design of the mission given its governance structure, funding mechanisms and convergence with other urban missions,” Murty says.

However, while smart cities promise an improved quality of life for which they intend to utilise technology, the threat vulnerability of its use must be factored in. This has been recognised globally since there are examples of cities being brought to a halt because technology and data systems were compromised.

The Smart Cities Mission in India could also face such challenges throughout the mission process. The fact that there is no universally accepted definition of a ‘smart city’ is possibly what allows such cities around the world to set their own agenda while laying down the guidelines for their initiatives.

Smart cities, therefore, have the freedom to develop their own strategies based on local factors like demographics, geography, economy, and heritage, among others. This makes sense because what works in one city may not work for another — so what is perfect for Barcelona may not be effective in Varanasi.

Mission’s progress so far

Going back to how India has progressed so far in the implementation of smart cities, Murty feels we need to be conscious of the fact that the last nine out of 100 smart cities were declared in January 2018.

It is unrealistic to expect all smart cities to be at the same level.

“Cities like Bhopal, Nagpur, Surat, Vadodara, Pune have done extremely well in executing their projects.

The cities declared in later rounds need to leverage knowledge and learnings from these cities to hit the ground running.

Eighty-seven out of 100 cities have appointed project management consultants, so we can expect them to roll out projects very soon,” he says.

Pratap Padode, Founder Director, Smart Cities Council of India, points out that the Mission has completed three years and is work in progress. Currently, works worth Rs.8,000 crore have been completed and 1,200 projects costing Rs.50,000 crore tendered. Also, 98 projects worth Rs.6,000 crore are under implementation under public-private partnership mode. Credit rating has been completed for 412 cities, of which 155 cities have proven to be investment grade.

Currently, Padode says “Eleven Integrated Control and Command Centres are installed at Ahmedabad, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur and Pune, among others. Twenty-one cities have called for tenders for ICCC. CCTV installations are helping cities get cleaner due to monitoring and technology is being deployed in road construction, property tax management, water management and waste management.”

The last, he feels, is a big challenge, which is being sought to be addressed by ‘waste to energy’ plant proposals.

One pole, many uses

Sridhar Gadhi, CEO of Quantela Inc, a technology solutions provider who offers artificial intelligence-based solutions for over 40 cities globally, gives an example of smart infrastructure — a smart pole that combines the benefits of LED lighting, Wi-Fi connection, surveillance cameras and mobile connectivity.

He too flags the security aspects over all else. “It is the right time now to work on security aspects as protection of digital assets will become central to upcoming cities,” he emphasises.

And that is what is happening. From merely developing smart cities, the focus is shifting to cyber-secure cities with a robust framework.

Source:The Hindu

How a simulation could help you build a smart city

Build a smart city

The responsibility of being a smart city leader means facing a variety of challenges, developing visions, strategies and goals, making tough decisions and weighing trade-offs – all while keeping in mind that your overriding responsibility is to take the steps needed to improve your citizens’ quality of life. That’s an all too brief description of what Smart Cities Week attendees who participated in Council Global Lead Partner EY’s Future Cities simulation program experienced. The story below outlines the event in more detail and highlights some of what the participants learned in what could be called an “immersive smart city experience.” ­­– Doug Peeples

 

The simulation, based on a case study for the fictional city of Futopolis, focuses on the drivers that can impact citizens’ quality of life, the challenges inherent in smart city transformations, solution options and the inevitable long-term versus short-term tradeoffs.

The workshop participants gathered in competitive teams  around tables equipped with written background information and the Future Cities simulation and instructions on a monitor. They were given metrics to judge their ability to improve their citizens’ lives in six areas: affordability, agility, amenity, safety, spaces (such as availability of public parks, other open spaces) and opportunity (social, cultural, economic).

The participants were counseled to be open-minded, to collaborate and to embrace diversity. As the teams discussed their strategies among themselves it became clear that several different approaches were underway. Some teams moved through the initial strategy and vision discussions quickly while others were more deliberate, debating the suitability of individual words and their impact on the clarity of their message. A typical exchange went like this:
“No, we shouldn’t say that. It’s too broad.”
“Yeah, we need to be more specific. But we need to be accommodating, too.”
“Should we say smart housing or something else?”

Consensus isn’t easy


In other words, participants were getting a crash course in dealing with the diverse experiences, knowledge and opinions of their teammates and trying to come to a consensus. And negotiating to achieve that consensus came into play during the discussions often:
“I keep pitching education programs and everyone else wants to go with data,” one participant said as her team was addressing where the city should be investing its limited budgets. Another replied “I’ll go for funding education because if our schools suck what good are they? We’ve gotta have connectivity and we’ve gotta have good schools.”

The teams generally focused on three top hot button smart city topics: mobility (congestion solutions), data (optimizing and leveraging) and housing (availability). The simulation gave them six broad areas to invest in: environment, public services, infrastructure, security, health and economy and the previous mayor’s budget allocations for each. Negotiations and compromise were key to achieving consensus (or close to it) as they addressed allocations, trade-offs and longer-range planning.

For small business owner Andre Bryan, the simulation program was surprisingly realistic. “I like the interactivity and getting input, the coming to consensus.” As an example he referred to a discussion he had with one of his teammates, Tyrone Riley, a Toledo, Ohio city councilman who was lobbying his team to support infrastructure maintenance program investments. “I learned something in this because he was right,” Bryan said. “I hadn’t thought maintenance was that important until he proved me wrong.” For Riley, the simulation was enjoyable, informative and helpful –- even though it did remind him of the city council meetings and processes he was already so familiar with.

One of simulation facilitators, Meghan Mills, global strategy and operations leader for EY’s Government and Public Sector, readily acknowledged that one result of the simulation was a heightened appreciation for collaboration among people who have been through it. “Cities so often operate in silos,” she said. “I think what people realize after going through this is ‘I need to go back and talk to the team down the hall.'”

Refrence : na.smartcitiescouncil.com

How Smart Cities Of Australia Are Employing Their Best Efforts For A Better Future?

Since the inception of the smart city concept, Australia has employed commendable technology rollouts to provide high-quality life and standard jobs to citizens. The government has invested in many studies and researches that have supported Australian cities to move towards embracing a truly smart future. Additionally, it has also been organising international conferences and awards (like many other countries) that not just felicitate and encourage the smart city innovators, industries, government bodies, and policymakers but also make the smart city concept more visible to the citizens.

One such event is happening in Australia in October 2018. The country is all set to welcome its maiden ‘Australian Smart Cities Awards’ that have shortlisted 5 smart cities for its most anticipated top prize for the category ‘Leadership City’. With this, the Australians will be more familiar with how a ‘leadership city’ looks like. So let’s get to know about these 5 finalists along with their smart city rollouts.

1. Brisbane

The Council of Brisbane has been constantly shaping Brisbane into a smart city with a variety of initiatives. It has invested $5 million to launch innovation hub and a startup. The city was the first one to apply a large-scale Bluetooth monitoring system in Australia. The Council has opened 130 datasets free of charge to promote third parties to develop websites, apps, and tools that can benefit the residents and businesses in Brisbane. The city has empowered the local sports clubs and parklands with smart watering systems. These systems are digitally connected to the weather stations to monitor and report water flow, usage trends, and environmental data. This data further assist clubs to manage their water usage and enhance the playing grounds.

The food truck industry in the city has witnessed tremendous growth after the launch of mobile diners website by the city. The website that received an average of 4700 views each week in July 2017, features an interactive map helping people to locate their favourite gourmet food truck in the city, menu details, and operating hours. For food truck vendors the website acts as a platform that helps promote events that pave way for business opportunities across the city.

With high-speed free WiFi service made available in public places, major shopping malls, and libraries, Brisbane has become a truly connected smart city. Going further, the city will be expanding the WiFi service with rollouts between 2017 and 2018.

2. Adelaide

The Ten Gigabit project of Adelaide has commenced – enabling citizens to live with better amenities and high standard livability both at home and workplace. The network rollout has begun and will continue to do so in 1,000 selected buildings within a span of two years. The city is testing with ‘Smart Bins’ in specific areas of to keep cleaner and more appealing. The project uses the ‘Clean Cube’ bins that operate with innovative cloud-based technology to optimise waste collection. Each bin is equipped with solar-powered sensors that provide real-time data on the filling capacity of the bins and the time to get them emptied. The bins also comprise a compactor that condenses the waste and enables a 120-litre bin to accommodate up to 960 litres of waste.

After a successful trial of smart LED street lights, the city is expanding its rollouts in other areas of the city. In the first quarter of 2018, the city installed roughly 2,800 sensors in on-street parking spaces and communication relays on some electricity poles.

3. City of Ipswich

IoT Network In City Of IpswichThe City of Ipswich is deploying IoT and smart infrastructure network through the city. Leveraging Australian technology rollouts, the city has built a 100 square kilometre IoT network that sustains remote asset management, video analytics, sensor-based data gathering, security, and safety. Recently, it collaborated with EasyMile and Transdev to feature a public demonstration of a smart driverless shuttle ‘EZ10’. It has also made its 60 datasets open for access which includes information on the location of traffic signals with its aerial photography.

The city has initiated a Remote Piloted System (RPS) that helps in protecting its natural bushland and wildlife sites that span in an area beyond 1200 square kilometres. Using remote technology the city is surveying the naturally conserved region for planning developments in key operational areas which include disaster management, asset management, landfill and quarry management, marketing and tourism, vegetation and pest management, and compliance management.

4. Sunshine Coast

The Council of Sunshine Coast has an array of technology rollouts to make the city more livable. The city has been recognised as the Smart 21 City for 2017 by the worldwide Intelligent Community Forum. To begin with, it has installed the first automatic waste collection in Australia. The people of the city are enjoying a free public WiFi service since March 2016 which is on the way to expand.

The city has opened a Smart Center and Living Lab for the public to see the testing of new and innovative technologies such as parking space availability sensors, waste bin sensors, dimmable LED lights, digital flow metres, and a lot more to learn about the Smart City Framework of the region.

The city has also created Sunshine Coast Council app that is publicly available for use on Android and Apple. The app provides information on the available parking space in real-time. A 3D modelling system with high-ranking accuracy is being used to build the award-winning Disaster Hub and implement organisational mobility programs. Many more technology rollouts are underway in the city.

5. City of Canterbury Bankstown

The City of Canterbury Bankstown collaborated with CSIRO and the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils to create the ‘Our Energy Future’ program for tenants and investors. The free energy advice service is created to help residents cut-down on their energy bills while they getting quotes from reputable suppliers. All this was done while overcoming some critical challenges like language barriers, local council amalgamation, and socio-economics.

There are a number of other smart city projects that are being explored by the council. The city is aiming at installing electric vehicle charging points in selected areas. It is also working on a data visualisation platform that can help the Council keep track of energy and water performance. Furthermore, the city is planning to trial GPS and camera systems in waste trucks which will enable the drivers to report issues related to bins, street conditions etc. and also relay details of where and when the bins are picked and streets are swept.

To present the Australian Smart City Awards, Telstra and Deloitte have joined hands with the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand. The tech company Telstra is currently moving ahead to implement the first-ever free public 5G-enabled WiFi hotspots in the Gold Coast suburb of Southport. The company built a testing centre in November last year to trial the technology in conjunction with the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

After the successful testing phase that will give citizens an opportunity to enjoy free broadband, the company will open its 5G service in 2019. Owing to the fact that, there are no 5G compatible smartphones or tablets in use, the company connected the 5G infrastructure in Southport to a standard WiFi access point to allow the public to use the service with their mobile devices. With the 5G set to opening doors for miscellaneous opportunities for everyone, it sure to become one the most anticipated technology rollouts not just in Australia, but in the entire world.

 

Refrence : www.smartcity.press