WEEK 2: Infrastructure for the TechniCity

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WEEK 2: Infrastructure for the TechniCity

“Infrastructure Supporting the TechniCity…The Engaged TechniCity… What is a City, and How Does it Get Smarter… Wireless Networks: A Vision for Smarter Cities… Smart and Connected (Part 2)…” 


  • Context: Infrastructure Supporting the TechniCity
  • Context: The Engaged TechniCity
  • Context: What is a City, and How Does it Get Smarter?
  • Context: Wireless Networks - A Vision for Smarter Cities
  • Case Study: Smart and Connected (Part 2)

Context: Infrastructure Supporting the TechniCity

  • We are real people living in real cities – we can imagine a situation where technology will give us perfect data and allow for perfect decisions supporting perfect cities, but it is just that, imagination.
  • Even if we design an idealized city using the latest technology, this doesn’t assure that we’ll have created a city that will achieve the desired social, economic, and environmental outcomes.
  • Case study: Venezuela and its attempt to create the perfect industrial city in the 1950s, where city planners used the latest technology and best information at the time, but the city fell short of its original plan.
  • Case study: Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates:
    • This city is being designed to focus on job creation centered around clean technology, and to provide the highest quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint.
    • In 30 years, what will we learn? What will have been unrealized, and what new problems will the city be grappling with? What new technologies will be championed in 2050 as the solution to the modern city?
  • We should be inspired to think about how we can use new technologies in our cities today, and at the same time we should challenge ourselves to remember that cities are constantly changing, evolving, and learning from our failures, and thus we should also be planning for the long term.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://class.coursera.org/techcity-004/lecture

Context: The Engaged TechniCity

  • Course participants have been sharing urban technologies.
  • Examples from cities across the globe including sensors, information sources, building types, building innovations,
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://class.coursera.org/techcity-004/lecture

Context: What is a City, and How Does it Get Smarter?

  • Share some experiences, perspectives, and directions that the smart city is going into currently.
  • Society could operate new business models in the way public services can be created in a connected way.
    • We are seeing good tangible examples where public transit information is being applied in new ways.
    • How can our homes, our commercial businesses, our schools, municipal buildings, become more connected in selves and, and, also within their communities? How we can understand this for energy utilization? How they can be used managed more efficiently?
    • In the streets project in New York, we worked on City 24/7, where the street furniture is now becoming digitally enhanced and providing real time information to people in the streets.
    • Smart working – which is really about a network-enabled smart work infrastructure across a region, not just a city center or to a particular employee or employer.
  • In the UK, the development of a digital innovation cluster in London, but also in other cities is being explored by how we can connect up different types of small media enterprises with big business and with different government agencies.
  • Can also connect different cities across the country, and internationally, and linking together investors and startup businesses.
  • Wrap up: a network based open innovation approach provides nothing short of a new participative democracy.
  • Need new open standards for different technology areas to enable the connections to be made.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://class.coursera.org/techcity-004/lecture

Context: Wireless Networks – A Vision for Smarter Cities

  • Technology and specifically information and communication technology, have always played a role in the formation and growth of cities. Communication technology plays an important role in formation and growth of cities.
  • 6,000 years ago in the Middle East, the first few cities that formed was so that people could communicate and exchange
  • In rise of the industrial cities, telegraph became a very important technology for organizing cities in the 19th century.
  • In the 1950s and the 1960s, computers that had been used in the defense industry started being applied to urban planning, and developing simulations of how cities grow and decline; and ended up being utilized by the US census, and then city governments as well.
  • By 2020, there’ll be about 50 billion networked objects, things on the Internet.
  • Recent disasters demonstrate the critical importance of wireless/communications infrastructure (not all calls were connected as the networks were congested).
  • We have to understand that all these technologies are taking place in a context of a city, and that economics and politics and social interactions will shape the way solutions and services are crafted.
  • Big companies are trying to create a market around instrumenting cities with technology, while startups are trying to build businesses from the bottom up creating tools that make the city easier to use.
  • Another approach is crowdsourcing, which is a very exciting way of thinking about self-organized, bottom-up, grass roots approaches to urban problems.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://class.coursera.org/techcity-004/lecture

Case Study: Smart and Connected (Part 2)

  • Discuss the Internet of Things and how it applies to smart cities.
  • Pretty soon, there will be 2 billion people and 3 billion people connected to the internet through different devices and there will be even more things become connected to the internet then people.
  • These could be thermostats, flow meters, parking meters, ATM machines etc. We put sensors across the city, sensors in smart phones, pockets and bodies, and probably more sensors in cars.
  • They generate data insights about what really goes on in the system of people and things called a city and we can react to things in real time.
  • Systems (e.g. water, electricity, parking etc) also become increasingly integrated, create some interesting scenarios.
  • Case study: energy management in buildings, that now enable essentially a two way conversation between the building manager and its tenants, and the building becomes more efficient.
Chop Chop MOOCs’ summary of https://class.coursera.org/techcity-004/lecture

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