How cities can prepare for ' flying cars '

How cities can prepare for ‘ flying cars ‘

Urban air mobility – or “flying machines” – may be a more versatile way of investing in potential urban infrastructure.

How cities can prepare for ‘ flying cars ‘

How cities can prepare for ' flying cars '

How cities can prepare for ‘ flying cars ‘

Cities have undergone extensive changes over the past few years, both in metropolitan areas and in far more global areas, such as COVID-19.

The way people travel, the way they work and the motivation of their economy have been affected by these changes.

While a shocking new disorder is on its way with this situation – the cities have time to plan and form the correct response for their communities this time.

This next disruption goes by many names, but this latest solution to vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) provides an infrastructure (launch pads, etc.) that is less costly to construct than rail and technology that is safer and more affordable than conventional helicopters, whether you call it Urban Aerial Mobility (UAM), Helicopter 2.0 or even ‘flying cars.’ UAM, properly implemented, could connect existing transit nodes and also make it easier for cities to link transit needs to staff.

Moving machines, once seen as part of potential space-age, are within control.

Cautious forecasts from technology firms, as well as regulatory authorities, suggest that in as soon as 5 to 10 years, these solutions may be in operation

. But cities need to start planning now to form standards and aspirations in order to ensure that the public trusts this new alternative and that it really works for the needs of people.

Agenda spoke with Harrison Wolf, Lead for Aerospace and Drones of the World Economic Forum, to understand what is needed.

Wolf is helping to press for the introduction of a special collection of urban sky concepts to guide cities around the world.

Los Angeles is expected to adopt these principles, and collaborations will follow with other cities.

 

Is walkability promotes urban tourism?

Van Alen Institute Announces Winners of 'Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge'

Van Alen Institute Announces Winners of ‘Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge’

Van Alen Institute named the winners of the Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge International Design Competition to reinvent the famous Brooklyn Bridge walkway.

Van Alen Institute Announces Winners of ‘Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge’

Van Alen Institute Announces Winners of 'Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge'

Van Alen Institute Announces Winners of ‘Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge’

From a field of 200 submissions from 37 nations, the winning designs imagined the bridge as a forum for climate change, social justice, and artistic expression.

They also highlighted the urgent need to widen the bridge roads for pedestrians and cyclists, a thread that was threaded through all the proposals made by the six finalists of the competition.

The winning design in the Professional category (22 years and older) in Brooklyn Bridge Forest by Pilot Projects Design Group, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw, and Silman; New York and Montreal.

There’s a plan re-imagine the bridge as a symbol of climate change and social justice, enhancing accessibility while respecting the historic structure.

The historic wooden walkway is being extended using planks sustainably harvested from a partner group in Guatemala that preserves 200,000 acres of rainforest.

A dedicated cycle path and a recycled road lane create new space for pedestrians and low-carbon transportation, while biodiverse ‘micro forests’ at either end of the bridge carry nature to New York City and act as green spaces for underserved neighborhoods.

The winning style in the Young Adult category (aged 21 and under is Do Look Down by Shannon Hui, Kwans Kim, and Yujin Kim; Hong Kong, Bay Area, CA, and New York.

Do Look Down’s construction of a glass surface above the bridge girders creates a whimsical new pedestrian area that is enabled by art installations and seasonal programming.

The lower roadway is transformed into additional walkable and human-powered transport space, which also provides opportunities for local vendors and performers. Driven by kinetics, the LED and projection systems are mobilized to respect the city’s cultures, histories, and personalities.

Newfangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Disease outbreaks are shaping our cities. Public health issues have driven some of the most emblematic advances in urban planning. London’s drainage systems were developed in response to cholera outbreaks in the 19th century. In the US at the turn of the 20th century, public parks became common (though the probably ineffective way to provide people with cleaner air to protect them from diseases such as tuberculosis. Now, COVID-19 could have an influence on urban areas as well.

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

The spread of COVID-19 in some of the world’s most populated cities has raised questions about density, the number of people living in a given urban area. Busy roads, houses, and public spaces make physical distances more difficult, raising the likelihood of contagion. This density criticism dates back to the late 19th century when some American civic leaders argued that disease and poverty resulted from crowded and unsanitary conditions in dense cities.

However, the suggestion that density is unhealthful is oversimplifying and deceptive when it comes to COVID-19. The results of our research show close to zero correlations between the density of 36 world cities (as calculated by people per square kilometer) and the rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

In order to monitor COVID-19 dense megacities, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul, public health measures such as testing, touch tracing, isolation, and quarantine were implemented in a timely manner and coupled with physical distancing and wearing masks. These steps have been successful in controlling early outbreaks of the virus, despite high-density rises in the risk of infection.

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

When it comes to assessing how vulnerable urban residents are to COVID-19, density is likely to be only one of the main factors. Rather the main problem is lack of room – both private living space and broader public space in the community. The top five most populated communities in the United Kingdom have seen 70% more COVID-19 cases than the five least populous neighborhoods, even after correcting for local deprivation. It’s not how many people live in a given place that matters, but the conditions in which they live.

Lowering population density would make health worse

In view of the above, we are troubled by recommendations to decrease urban density in favor of suburban living in an attempt to regulate COVID-19. Not only is urban density not a primary factor of COVID-19, but it also has health safety benefits.

Over 20 years of research indicates that higher population density is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. This is due in large part to residents in higher-density areas becoming more physically involved.

Their local areas are more “walkable,” which ensures that they can walk more frequently to nearby markets, schools, and other facilities. Reducing urban density would most likely have a net negative effect on health, raising the rates of non-communicable diseases that have just been listed.

Instead, lowering population density would raise the demand for transport. Private cars could be preferred over public transport in the future, as single occupancy trips decrease social interaction and reduce the risk of infection. This will, however, increase the risk of non-communicable diseases due to inactivity during car use, respiratory diseases due to air pollution, and injuries and fatalities due to road accidents.

Plus, suburban designs based on the use of cars are inequitable. The need to buy a car is a burden on people who cannot afford one (or do not want one). Lower-income households, single-car families, disabled people, and older adults who no longer drive will face greater inequity in accessing affordable housing, schooling, recreational facilities, and job opportunities.

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Seeking a Best Answer

A better way to protect health will be to give people more room to be involved in their communities, such as walking or cycling. This is likely to have a double benefit, both by decreasing the spread of COVID-19 by reducing any crowding in the streets and lowering the risk of deadly chronic diseases.
Woman’s cycles past the street art of a human wearing a respirator.

Ensuring more opportunities for outdoor physical activity in low-income areas will also minimize health inequity. Low-income families are more likely to live in overcrowded housing units that are emerging as COVID-19 infection hotspots. In crowded environments with a lack of personal space, it is almost difficult to follow the guidelines for self-isolation.

Low-income communities may also have fewer public open spaces that increase the problem of overcrowding – the risk of coronavirus infection may be up to 20 times higher indoors than outdoors. There is also a direct correlation between outdoor activity and a strong immune system.

Thus, local parks may provide respite and minimize exposure to infectious diseases for residents in crowded housing without private outdoor space. If the parks are not open, it will be necessary to allocate more road space for walking and cycling.

Some cities are already introducing temporary steps to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, such as relocating road space away from motor vehicles and lowering speed limits.

Multiple results indicate that we should not let COVID-19 lead to a decrease in the density of our cities. Yes, measures are required to minimise intense crowding, such as in the slums, and to provide people in every city with ample outdoor space for physical distance.

However, urban density is typically weakly connected to COVID-19 cases and deaths. Instead, it is an important component of walking societies that protect people from chronic diseases.

What’s the most populous city in the world?

Newfangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

Newfangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

Industrial designer Evgeny Arinin designed an LED display that uses its shape, wide arrows, and strong icons to clearly express the rules of the road. Newfangled Traffic Light built for People and Robots.

Newfangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

The three colored circles of traffic lights work hard to control the flow of traffic around the world. Evgeny Arinin accepts this and admires the concept for

its long-lasting effectiveness. But the Russian industrial designer suggests that traffic signals should transmit orders more clearly. With that in mind, he

has designed an alternative: an LED show that uses its shape, large arrows, and strong icons to loudly express the rules of the path.

Arinin’s proposal is still a prototype (and a finalist in this year’s Lexus Design Awards), but it shows a few cracks in existing traffic signage systems.

Remember that the light, a 105-year-old design, seldom works on its own. It is part of a wider, often fragmented, sign ecosystem that alerts drivers to

items like roadwork and school crossings, unprotected lefts, and when they can and cannot turn right into the red. Drivers need to synthesize all this

knowledge as they reach the intersection. Soon enough, so will the vehicles without a driver. With this technology on the horizon, now is the perfect time

for designers to re-imagine how intersection signage will convey all this knowledge more succinctly.

New fangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

Newfangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

Arinin’s principles incorporate the details you would usually see on two or more signals into one intuitive signal. Every sign is shaped like the intersection

at which it appears; the four-way junction has a cross-shaped (read: four-way) sign. If traffic laws say you can turn right but can’t go straight, the sign

would display a green arrow curving to the right, with a bright red block pointing upwards in the bar. It practically points at what to do with it. “Drivers

could spend less time understanding the lights,” says Arinin, and the colours will remain the same. “It’s not going to force drivers to adjust to a

completely new design.”

New fangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

Newfangled Traffic Light for People and Robots

To be taken seriously, a new design of traffic lights will have to meet—or, more likely, surpass—existing requirements of legibility. Take visual acuity, or

read text from a distance. “The existing traffic signal does a very good job telling you to move forward, and most people know how it works,” says Denis

Pelli, an NYU psychologist who studies object recognition. “But the design of Arinin seems much better than getting a second sign that tells you when

you should turn left. That’s a useful integration.” Pelli says that he also likes a few other features in Arinin’s definition, such as using numerical

countdown times in signs, along with red Xs to clearly point out what’s out of bounds. In cities like New York, where right turns red are prohibited at

several intersections, despite being legal at the state level, Arinin’s bold, all-in-one signals could allow drivers to see more easily and from a wider distance

what kind of intersection they’re dealing with.

The importance of walking

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