First City Protocol Agreement – Let Us Know What You Think!
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The City Protocol is an open and global collaborative R&D group which is helping to create a smart and sustainable Internet of Cities. By Internet of Cities, we mean:
- An Internet of Things (IoT) as it applies to cities
- A network of city subsystems working together as a holistic living system
- A network of cities learning and evolving together in competitive and cooperative ways
- A network of city-centered groups aligning their work into one scientific and interoperable frame.
As introduced a few months ago, City Protocol seeks to define a common systems view for cities, and co-develop “City Protocol Agreements” (CPAs). The role of CPAs will be to help innovators create and cities deploy interoperable and sustainable solutions which cross city silos and serve diverse (multi-scale, multi-cultural) city profiles. These agreements will help cities and citizens to connect, decide, adapt, collaborate/compete and experiment in a personal, experimental – and yet risk-mitigated – way.
The very process of arriving at these CPA agreements – through cross-sector collaboration and rough consensus within short-term Task-and-Finish-Teams (TAFTs) — will enhance the value delivered by City Protocol. TAFT work will ultimately enable interoperable yet vendor-differentiated solutions, while also providing collaborative needs-expression and learning for cities. Our hope is that Cities will emerge as a community-of-practice and a market force which discovers and articulates its requirements in a collaborative conversation with the private sector of solution providers and partners.
City Anatomy available for Public Comment
The first informational City Protocol Agreement (CPA-I), City Anatomy: A Framework to Support City Governance, Evaluation and Transformation, is currently out for Public Comment.
City Anatomy is the foundational agreement of City Protocol, a first articulation of a scientific, interoperable frame which reflects the muscles and bones of a city of any size or type.
City Anatomy is inspired and informed by early research from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) focused on connecting the physical and digital worlds. Its initial developer is Vicente Guallart, City Protocol Chief Architect and author of the new book The Self-Sufficient City. The ideas were further fleshed out by the ANCHA (ANatomy of City Habitat) TAFT, co-led by Professor Francesc Giralt.
We hope you will read City Anatomy carefully, and forward it to your professional colleagues to do the same.
The City Protocol Society (CPS), which created and supports City Protocol, recently celebrated one year of incorporation, with its first CPS General Assembly annual meeting in Amsterdam in early November. Also in Amsterdam, our growing community convened for its first two-day technical Workshop of the City Protocol Task Force (CPTF). There, we celebrated the completion of City Anatomy, and also advanced TAFTS covering topics ranging from city indicators and data ontologies, to urban metabolisms and lifecycle analyses (LCAs), and from open sensor platforms to city resilience. These Agreements will develop common language and physiologic tools (nervous system, metabolic systems and more) which elaborate on City Anatomy, grounding the Smart City movement and the emerging Internet of Cities.
Smart City enables Sustainable City
At City Protocol, we are proponents of the view that smart, IT-infused cities are a means to an end and not an end in itself. The transformation of Cities we hope to support includes the creation of sustainable, resilient, livable and thriving cities for the 21st century. Applying IoT concepts, the living system that is a city is enabled to sense and see itself, measure and manage itself, and evolve and transform itself.
This was the subject of our recent panel at the Smart City Expo and World Congress, where City Protocol members from Cisco, Microsoft, City Zenith, Bismart, and the City of Barcelona shared their City Protocol aligned technologies on a panel moderated by the City of Amsterdam. To forward this concept further, many more leading Smart Cities — from Dubai to Dublin — have actively joined our work.
In addition to our own current TAFT work, we will also be working collaboratively with the Smart Cities Council and NIST to contribute to a Smart City Framework to be developed by NIST’s Global Cities Team Challenge.
Once our scientific ground is in place, and smart city principles are outlined, our attention will turn to the truly aspirational goals of smart and sustainable cities everywhere. This work is very exciting to me personally, as it aligns neatly with a view of smart/sustainable design that has guided my own work and explorations over recent years.
To join our open community of collaborators, please go to www.cptf.cityprotocol.org and click on “Register”. To learn about becoming an institutional member of the City Protocol Society, go to www.cityprotocol.org/member.html or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome you!
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This article was originally published on September 8, 2020.
Update for April 20, 2021:
After the murder of George Floyd we wrote this article as a kind of blueprint, a beginning to a new way of working with equitable resilience in our cities and beyond. Now, as the trial of Derek Chauvin comes to a guilty verdict in Minneapolis and the whole country reflects on the legacy of that verdict, we have to remember another senseless murder – another young Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of law enforcement, just miles from the courthouse. Again, Minneapolis is all of us. We have protested, we have voted. We stood up, we spoke out, we have raged about the anti-Black racism. We have seen people come together, we can feel a shift in this country. But there is so much more to do. No equity, no resilience.
-Ron & Stewart
Housing that is affordable to low-income residents is often substandard and suffering from deferred maintenance, exposing residents to poor air quality and high energy bills. This situation can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory health issues, and siphon scarce dollars from higher value items like more nutritious food, health care, or education. Providing safe, decent, affordable, and healthy housing is one way to address historic inequities in community investment. Engaging with affordable housing and other types of community benefit projects is an important first step toward fully integrating equity into the green building process. In creating a framework for going deeper on equity, our new book, the Blueprint for Affordable Housing (Island Press 2020), starts with the Convention on Human Rights and the fundamental right to housing.
Since the Great Recession of 2008, the housing wealth gap has expanded to include not just Black and Brown Americans, but younger White Americans as well. Millennials and Generation Z Whites are now joining their Black and Brown peers in facing untenable housing precarity and blocked access to wealth. With wages stuck at 1980 levels and housing prices at least double (in inflation adjusted terms) what they were 40 years ago, many younger Americans, most with college degrees, are giving up on buying a home and even struggle to rent apartments suitable for raising a family.
What makes it hard for policy people and citizens to accept this truth is that we have not seen this problem in a very long time. Back in the 1920s of course, but not really since then. But this is actually an old problem that has come back to haunt us; a problem first articulated by Adam Smith in the 1700s.