Teaming Up on Innovation: France and California Seeking Common Ground

By Dave Hahn

Dave Hahn is the Director of Digital Strategy for Meeting of the Minds.

Oct 25, 2012 | Announcements | 0 comments

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.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

How Stormwater Infrastructure Balances Utility and Placemaking

How Stormwater Infrastructure Balances Utility and Placemaking

I see the outcomes of Duke Pond as a representation of the importance of the profession of landscape architecture in today’s world. Once obscured by the glaring light and booming voice long-generated by building architects, landscape architects are steadily emerging as the designers needed to tackle complex 21st century problems. As both leaders and collaborators, their work is addressing the effects of rising sea level on coastal cities, creating multi-modal pedestrian and vehicular transportation systems to reduce carbon emissions, reimagining outdated infrastructure as great urban places, and as with the case of Duke Pond, mitigating the impacts of worsening drought.

The 7 Forces of Artificial Intelligence in Cities

The 7 Forces of Artificial Intelligence in Cities

AI has enormous potential to improve the lives of billions of people living in cities and facing a multitude of challenges. However, a blind focus on the technological issues is not sufficient. We are already starting to see a moderation of the technocentric view of algorithmic salvation in New York City, which is the first city in the world to appoint a chief algorithm officer.

There are 7 primary forces determining the success of AI, of which technology is just one. Cities must realize that AI is not the quick technological fix that vendors sell. Not everything will be improved by creating more algorithms and technical prowess. We need to develop a more holistic approach to implementing AI in cities in order to harness the immense potential. We need to create a way to consider each of the seven forces when cities plan for the use of AI.

I Am The River, The River is Me: Prioritizing Well-being Through Water Policy

I Am The River, The River is Me: Prioritizing Well-being Through Water Policy

In New Zealand, persistent, concentrated advocacy and legal cases advanced by Māori people are inspiring biocentric policies; that is, those which recognize that people and nature, including living and non-living elements, are part of an interconnected whole. Along the way, tribal leaders and advocates are successfully making the case that nature; whole systems of rivers, lakes, forests, mountains, and more, deserves legal standing to ensure its protection. An early legislative “win” granted personhood status to the Te Urewera forest in 2014, which codified into law these moving lines:

“Te Urewera is ancient and enduring, a fortress of nature, alive with history; its scenery is abundant with mystery, adventure, and remote beauty … Te Urewera has an identity in and of itself, inspiring people to commit to its care.”

The Te Urewera Act of 2014 did more than redefine how a forest would be managed, it pushed forward the practical expression of a new policy paradigm.

Share This