Big Data, Automation, and the Future of Transportation

In recent years, a variety of forces (economic, environmental, and social) have quickly given rise to “shared mobility,” a collective of entrepreneurs and consumers leveraging technology to share transportation resources, save money, and generate capital. Bikesharing services, such as BCycle, and business-to-consumer carsharing services, such as Zipcar, have become part of a sociodemographic trend that has pushed shared mobility from the fringe to the mainstream. The role of shared mobility in the broader landscape of urban mobility has become a frequent topic of discussion. Shared transportation modes—such as bikesharing, carsharing, ridesharing, ridesourcing/transportation network companies (TNCs), and microtransit—are changing how people travel and are having a transformative effect on smart cities.

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Smart Cities and the Weather

A study by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 2008 found that the impact of routine weather events on the US economy equates annually to about 3.4% of the country’s GDP (about $485 billion). This excludes the impact of extreme weather events that cause damage and disruption – after all, even “ordinary” weather affects supply of and demand for many items, and the propensity of businesses and consumers to buy them. NCAR found that mining and agriculture are particularly sensitive to weather influences, with utilities and retail not far behind.

Many of these, disaster management included, are the focus of smart city innovations. Not surprisingly, therefore, as they seek to improve and optimize these systems, smart cities are beginning to understand the connection between weather and many of their goals.  A number of vendors (for example, IBM, Schneider Electric, and others) now offer weather data-driven services focused specifically on smart city interests.

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Decision Support Tools that Counter Uncertainty and Risk in Urban Settings

Urban Planning Today: Perception vs. Reality When the planning profession was still nascent in the 1950’s, well defined social needs and the desire to improve poor living conditions were the dominant basis for policy and regulation. By the time the 1970’s and 80’s...
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Invest in Resilience Before Disaster Strikes

Investing in at-risk communities before disaster strikes is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect residents and property while increasing their ability to weather the severe storms ahead. At Enterprise Community Partners, our Resilient Communities Initiative works nationwide to strengthen communities and equip residents so they are better prepared for, and able to respond to extreme weather events and other emergencies. We provide technical assistance, grant funding, research and analysis, and build innovative tools to support this goal.

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Leveraging Big Data & Analytics to Revitalize Brownfields

Leveraging Big Data & Analytics to Revitalize Brownfields

Brownfields are sites that are vacant or underutilized due to environmental contamination, real or imagined. There are brownfields of some kind in virtually every city and town in the U.S., usually related to a gas station, dry cleaner, auto repair shop, car dealership or some other ubiquitous local business that once benefited the community it now burdens with environmental hazards or old buildings.

In addressing this issue, technology has not been effectively deployed to promote redevelopment of these sites and catalyze community revitalization. We find that the question around the use of technology and data in advancing the redevelopment of brownfields is twofold:

How can current and future technology advancements be applied to upgrade existing brownfield modeling tools? And then, how can those modeling tools be used to accelerate transformative, sustainable, and smart redevelopment and community revitalization?

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Urban Innovator of the Week: Pamela Lewis

Urban Innovator of the Week: Pamela Lewis

This profile was originally published by Urban Innovation Exchange in partnership with Meeting of the Minds and Kresge Foundation. For more stories of people changing cities, visit UIXCities.com and follow @UIXCities. Between 2000 and 2010, 50% of all the jobs lost in...

Moscow makes over its streets with people in mind

Moscow makes over its streets with people in mind

By Timothy Misir MOSCOW, Russia — Tverskaya Ulitsa, an eight-lane thoroughfare in the heart of Moscow, is one of the city’s most historically significant roads. Editors note: This article first appeared in Citiscope.org and is reprinted with permission. Citiscope.org...

Urban Innovator of the Week: Maitreyi Roy

Urban Innovator of the Week: Maitreyi Roy

This profile was originally published by Urban Innovation Exchange in partnership with Meeting of the Minds and Kresge Foundation. For more stories of people changing cities, visit UIXCities.com and follow @UIXCities. Maitreyi Roy is the Executive Director of...

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Coal-Free and Nuke-Free California

California will soon be coal-free and its last nuclear plant will be replaced with renewables. It is true that grid imported coal and nuclear power make up a small and declining part of total system power, but the percentage keeps falling with improved demand...

The Case for Basic Income

These days, advances in technology are allowing us to do new and amazing things. But these advances can come with a cost: as technology is used for more and more purposes, it can disrupt the traditional labor model and put people out of work by automating their jobs....

IoValue in the City

A new community-based initiative is building best practice positions on IoT deployment in urban environments. Animated by the notion that “All of us are smarter than any one of us,” a new research initiative is drawing on the wisdom of the crowd to explore IoT and its...

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