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Jonathan Reichental on the importance of smart cities & smart citizens

By Lily Maxwell on Oct 10, 2018 12:00:29 PM

The importance of smart cities & smart citizens: In our new interview series, smart city leaders comment on the future of smart cities, the role of technology, and the benefits for citizens. In our first interview of the series, we have asked Jonathan Reichental, CIO of Palo Alto, California to share his expertise, thoughts and insights with us on a number of important smart city topics.

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Blockchain Technologies: The Next Frontier of Smart Cities - Part 2

By Lily Maxwell on Aug 20, 2018 10:06:01 AM

As we discussed in our previous article (Blockchain: The Next Frontier of Smart Cities - Part 1), blockchain has the potential to transform our communities, making the places we call home more collaborative, democratic and sustainable places. It is no surprise then, that a whole bunch of cities - from Santiago de Chile, Toronto, Tel Aviv, Oslo, and Milan, to London, and Stockholm - are already developing blockchain-based projects. Dubai is going even further, aiming to become the world’s first fully ‘blockchain-powered city’ by 2020. Lofty ideals aside, as we examined in part 1, blockchain does actually seem to offer some concrete benefits for communities, as we shall see below.

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How smart cities save governments, businesses and citizens money

By Lily Maxwell on Apr 18, 2018 3:21:12 AM

Around the world, cities are growing. Already, roughly 180,000 people move into cities every day. By 2015, the UN estimates that there will be 22 metropolitan areas with populations of more than 10 million people. Growing urban populations mean more costs for cities - from increasing energy use, to overstrained public services - but they also provide a stimulus for innovation. After all, we can’t infinitely expand outwards and upwards. Instead, we need to find ways to be more ‘efficiently urban’: in other words, we need to be smarter with how we use our resources, time and capital.

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Why should a municipality become a smart city? The six key benefits of transforming the place we call home.

By Lily Maxwell on Apr 2, 2018 12:41:44 PM

By 2050, it is estimated that roughly 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. With more citizens to serve, and a climate that is rapidly degrading, public service efficiency and effective resource-usage are becoming pressing issues for cities. Big tech companies talk a lot about how the solutions to these issues can be found through their innovative new technologies; however, while technical tools are indeed necessary, cities should ensure that their smart city strategy is holistic, multifaceted and, most importantly, citizen-centric  [1], if they want their efforts to bring fruitful results. A contextually adapted and citizen-centric approach  [2], using both human and technological resources, can bring multiple benefits for municipalities, particularly those that are struggling with specific problems - such as inefficient waste management systems, lack of civic participation, or traffic and congestion.
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The importance of the “smartivist” - how smart citizens accelerate smart city development

By Lily Maxwell on Mar 11, 2018 11:23:18 PM

"Nothing in the world is more simple and more cheap than making cities that provide better for people" - Jan Gehl, founding partner of Gehl Architects, in an interview in 2013.

When we talk about smart cities, the technological terms dominate. We refer to how big data, the Internet of Things, sensors, and automation, among other things, will change and innovate our cities, making life better for urban citizens. As Ignasi Capdevila and Matías I. Zarlenga highlight, however, in their study 'Smart City or smart citizens? The Barcelona case', when we think of smart cities from the perspective of new technologies alone, ‘citizens are often considered as users, testers, or consumers rather than producers and sources of creativity and innovation’. 

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Paying for Smart Cities: Where’s the Money?

By Sarah Wray on Jan 14, 2018 2:09:01 PM

We look at some of the emerging and advancing options for finding money to invest in smart city solutions.

Across the world, cities are acutely aware that they need to upgrade their infrastructure and systems to improve life for citizens and residents. This is becoming more urgent as rapid urbanization continues – by 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, up from 54 percent in 2014, according to the United Nations[1]. This could add 2.5 billion people to the world’s city-dwelling population, placing additional strain on city services.

In a US survey from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)[2] almost 40 percent of respondents claimed they needed additional money “to sustain infrastructure at a baseline level” and indicated that the current state of their infrastructure is hurting quality of life.

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