Teaming Up on Innovation: France and California Seeking Common Ground
Meeting of the Minds co-founder Gordon Feller will be working with Électricité de France, the world’s second largest electric utility company, and with the French Consul-General in San Francisco, to convene a special session of the California France Forum on Energy Efficiency Technologies (CaFFEET) on November 5th and 6th at the University of California, Berkeley.
CaFFEET aims to promote technical and scientific exchanges on energy efficiency between France and California, both of them being worldwide leaders working to develop connected and smart low-CO2 economies.
Gordon will chair the session “Making the City More Attractive with ICT” on November 5th at 3:45pm. For more information, visit the CaFFFEET website.
The session’s 5 panelists include:
- Alex Bayen, Professor, UC Berkeley CITRIS
- Carolyn Hogg, CIO, City of Fresno; Robert Tse, Community Planning and Development Specialist, USDA-Rural Development California; Joseph Oldham, Sustainability Manager, City of Fresno
- Khaldoun Al Agha, Professor, Paris Sud University and Action Line leader at EIT ICT Labs
EDF and the Consulate are collaborating on the 2012 CaFFEET program with the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, a University of California-Berkeley research institute.
With a focus on “The Smart City: What Is the Added Value?”, CaFFEET will bring together city officials, researchers, global companies in energy, water and ICT, and start-ups
They will be asked to answer two key questions:
- How do smart city approaches increase city attractiveness and city resilience?
- How to manage the cyber security risks associated with the smart city?
What kinds of technology-centric approaches are helping cities to move beyond the older ways of addressing urban problems? CaFFEET will examine a few emerging solutions, and one of these is the Mobile Millennium project, led by UC Berkeley, which collects GPS data inside drivers’ cell phones to understand traffic conditions, then broadcasting it back to provide real-time traffic information.
One premise of this year’s CaFFEET: using ICT solutions brings substantial value to cities, but may increase their vulnerability to cyber threats. Cyber attacks — whether by hackers, terrorists, or organized crime — are real, as are high-impact non-malicious events such user errors.
Industrial control systems — utilized by electric, water, gas or public transportation operations, ICT solutions — are now being deployed to allow control and communication in much more advanced ways than in the past.
This raises several pressing security challenges:
- The number of interfaces between city control systems and the outside world dramatically grows, especially with the growing use of sensors and intelligent communicating components. This increases the number of access points for a potential cyber attacker. These access points can be physical (e.g., through a smart meter) or virtual (e.g., through an internet-connected system).
- Software products (e.g., Windows) are interfacing with urban solutions, and these often come from the traditional IT world. They are not well adapted to the kinds of industrial environments where one finds an electric or water utility.
- Operators of industrial control systems have a strong safety culture, but are usually not trained in security (or in cyber security).
Here’s a list of a few of the cyber attacks which have targeted cities:
- One of the first incidents was seen in Australia in 2000 and targeted a water system. As explained in one published case study, the attacker managed to remotely cause raw sewage to spill out into local environment, including a hotel. This attack was followed by many others, according to the Repository of Industrial Security Incidents (RISI), which observed in recent years a tremendous increase in the number of municipal water control-system cyber attacks.
- The deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division analyzes three cities targeted by hackers who accessed infrastructure through SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems.
- In Poland a teen hacked a city’s train network and derailed four vehicles.
- In April 2012 hackers successfully penetrated the networks of several natural gas pipeline operators in the US.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Read more from the Meeting of the Minds Blog
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
From June 26th to 28th 2018, urban transport and development practitioners, activists, and researchers from cities around the world convened in Dar es Salaam for the 3rd annual ITDP Mobilize summit. Themed “Making space for mobility in booming cities,” the event...
It is no surprise to those of us in the walking advocacy world that making bus stops accessible and linked to neighborhood sidewalks can increase bus ridership and reduce the number of para-transit trips that are called for. This is a logical outcome of thinking about how people make real life choices about how to get around. What this research demonstrates is an amazing win-win-win for walking and transit advocates. It shows how we can shift trips from autos to transit; give more people more independence by making it possible for them to use regular bus service rather than setting up special, scheduled para-transit trips (some of which require appointments to be made at least 24 hours in advance and only for specified purposes); and save money for transit systems over the long run.
Ten Across is designed to accomplish two things: first, to represent the world as it is in all of its complexity and nuance and, second, to imagine alternatives to the present trajectory.