March 26, 2019

Smart Cities of Today and Tomorrow

“Smart cities using data captured by the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and processed with artificial intelligence (AI) are all the rage today among cities. Promoters tout the benefits these data-driven utopias, but as an urban planner, I tend to be sceptical of marketing hype. In the past, urban innovations painted visions that masked their real intentions and results. Urban renewal was sold as “garden cities,” but became black removal. Redevelopment during the 1980s eliminated small businesses and poor residents to make way for corporate offices, stadiums, and convention centers, leaving “ghost cities” with officials wondering why shoppers left for suburban malls. The race to attract “the creative class” has resulted in skyrocketing housing prices, gentrification, income inequalities and homelessness. As planners know, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” Smart cities are typically pitched as ways to make cities safer, healthier and wealthier, but is it true? What are their real impacts?

Smart Cities 1.0: The Inferno of Surveillance, Ticketing and Automated Pollution

Today’s smart cities were born from tragedy. After the 9/11 attacks, New York City and other cities installed 24×7 surveillance cameras and AI to protect public spaces through public-private partnerships (PPP) driven by cities and corporations. Cities routinely gather huge amounts of data in a top-down fashion without any public review. In China, social profiling is used to monitor political and social behavior as a way to control the right to travel, education and housing. In Toronto, Google touts its Sidewalk Lab as a way to revitalize the waterfront, but citizens are divided over growing concerns about the lack of data privacy and transparency.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"THE CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."

"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."

"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."

"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."

"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."

"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."

"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."

"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"

"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."

"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."

"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."

"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."