Smart cities

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This is a collection of articles which look at the idea of using technology to build “smart” cities.
This can mean a wide variety of things, but at a high level can they build towards the “triple bottom line” of economy, environment, and social equity” as one of these articles states.

Tools for Sustainable Cities

The effort builds on IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative, which is focused on how the strategic use of data and technology can drive sustainable growth and prosperity.

An Exclusive Look At Airbnb’s First Foray Into Urban Planning

Is it naive to think that you can simply drop a building onto a community and expect them to reorient their lives around it? Gebbia answers that community centers have always been a strong part of Japanese culture; this effort in fact is simply piggybacking on government efforts to build new ones.

 

How Smart Cities Save Money (and the Planet)

Cities around the world are getting bigger, fast. By 2015, there will be 22 metropolitan areas with populations of more than 10 million people. Around the world, some 180,000 people move into cities every day.

 

New York’s Bryant Park is tracking visitor behavior

As AdAge reports, PlaceIQ and several other similar companies gather their information from mobile app location data (which most users allow access to when they download free mobile apps) or from geo-targeted mobile ads. Although the data is anonymized and not tied a specific user’s phone, it still creates a surprisingly complete picture of the visitors to the park.

 

How ‘shared parking’ can improve city life

Technology gives us new ways to think about addressing these questions. Many parking lots already have entry/exit counters. If we combine those with aggregated, anonymized location data from smartphones, we can get a pretty good idea of when and where parking spaces are available, without requiring operators to install new equipment.

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Born poor? Bad luck, you have won last prize in the lottery of life

Yet it is this bad capitalism – and the socially immobile society that accompanies it – that has brought the British economy to its knees. A regular visitor to No 10 tells me wryly that the reason the government has lost the competence gene is that almost everyone he meets is an ex-public school boy like him.

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Source : The Guardian

This Is What Success Looks Like?

The message is that “important” women don’t take maternity leave, and it makes the rest of us feeling guilty when we do…or worse, perhaps – it makes us feel unimportant by comparison. It tells us that leave (we fought for this, remember?) is not a necessity.

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Source : Tech Crunch

Sir David Attenborough: ‘This awful summer? We’ve only ourselves to blame…’

The fact is, if we don’t do something, nature will. “Quite simply, we will run out of food. People talk about doom-laden scenarios happening in the future: they are happening in Africa now. You can see it perfectly clearly. Periodic famines are due to too many people living on land that can’t sustain them.”

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Source : The Independent 

Bring in migrants to cut billions from deficit, says Osborne’s watchdog

It also showed that if annual immigration were to remain at present levels of 260,000 the economy would grow more quickly. The OBR said that higher immigration would raise the annual growth rate over the next five decades from 2.4 per cent to 2.7 per cent. Under these circumstances the size of the fiscal consolidation needed to bring down the public debt to 40 per cent of GDP would be three times smaller, at just £4.6bn.

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Source : The independent 

Nationalisation: Uruguay’s solution to its drug problem

It also marks the latest chapter in the region’s gathering rebellion against Washington’s “war on drugs”, launched in the 1970s by President Nixon. Many Latin Americans resent being blamed for producing coca – cocaine’s key raw ingredient –when impoverished peasant farmers are largely responding to demand from the US and Europe.

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Source : The Independent

Why are food is making us fat

Hank Cardello, the former head of marketing at Coca-Cola, tells me that in 1984, Coke in the US swapped from sugar to HFCS (In the UK, it continued to use sugar). As a market leader, Coke’s decision sent a message of endorsement to the rest of the industry, which quickly followed suit. There was “no downside” to HFCS, Cardello says. It was two-thirds the price of sugar, and even the risk of messing with the taste was a risk worth taking when you looked at the margin, especially as there were no apparent health risks. At that time, “obesity wasn’t even on the radar” says Cardello.

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Source : The Guardian