An Accountant, A Farmer And A Teacher

An accountant, a farmer and a teacher walk into a train depot... Sounds like the beginning of a great joke doesn’t it? Funny enough, I met people in each of those professions as well as many others at the AgLanta Conference 2018. At this year’s conference, we focused on the role of agriculture in ‘smart cities’. To start the conference off, Henry Gordon-Smith, Founder of Agritecture, so eloquently asked the audience: “can a city really be smart without agriculture?”


Read More
Why self-driving trucks will take over before self-driving cars

Autonomous cars are much in the news, mostly because of the collisions that are bound to happen as we mix human and robot drivers. These raise obvious questions — who pays when a robocar kills? — but the uproar over safety overlooks the fact that autonomous technology will take over commercial trucking long before the average person has to decide whether to ride in a robo-cab. Companies are building autonomous trucks today for the controlled environments of shipping ports and large industrial sites (which already have self-driving forklifts!).

Read More
The Transportation Problem No One Is Talking About

Right now, most self-driving cars–like those being developed by Google or Uber–can only operate in very limited urban areas of the United States. In part, that’s because these cars need extremely accurate 3D maps that are constantly updated to function properly. That makes them impossible to use on millions of miles of roads outside cities–a problem that MIT engineers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are tackling with a new system using just basic GPS, laser sensors, and artificial intelligence to navigate rural roads. Its name is MapLite.


Read More
The ecologists who think moving to cities will save the planet

As far as professions go, conservationists are not known for their optimism. And, with the future of the planet looking so bleak, who can blame them? By 2100, the world is on track for more than three degrees of warming, sliding past the targets set by the Paris climate accord in 2015. By the middle of this century, between 15 and 37 per cent of species sampled in one study could be completely gone. In 2016, it became clear that giraffe populations had declined by 40 per cent over the last 30 years, earning the animals a spot on the endangered species list.

Read More
Smart Cities Need H.E.A.R.T.

Lots of smart people are talking about smart cities. There is an increasing urgency to take action, given that more than 50% of us already live in urban environments -- a statistic expected to be 66% by 2050. Recently Austin, my hometown, played host to global thought leaders at the Cities Summit during the SXSW conference. It was both informative and inspiring to listen to a cross section of civic leaders, creative urbanists and concerned citizen advocates.

Read More
Chelsea Collier
355 smart-city projects in 221 cities; 18% cut across industry ‘verticals’

There are 355 smart city projects in 221 cities, according to a new report from Navigant Research; almost one in five now cut across multiple industry sectors, as smart city integration gathers pace. The total value of the smart cities market will more than double in the next decade, from $40.1 billion in 2017 to 94.2 billion by the end of 2026.

Read More
First PAWR Testbeds Land in Salt Lake City, NYC

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces an important milestone in its Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) effort. In collaboration with an industry consortium of 28 networking companies and associations, NSF is supporting the development and deployment of the first two PAWR research platforms, based in Salt Lake City and New York City. These platforms will power research motivated by real-world challenges on experimental, next generation wireless test beds at the scale of cities and communities. The goal is to advance the state of the art for wireless technology beyond today's 4G, LTE and emerging 5G capabilities.

Read More
Smart Cities Connect 2018: How Ann Arbor (Mich.) Drained Stormy Waters Smartly

In recent years, the city of Ann Arbor, Mich., has struggled to deal with increased floodwaters reaching the city. To funnel pooling waters after intense storms safely away, the city worked with the University of Michigan to develop Open Storm, a package of open-source sensors, hardware and algorithms to measure and control storm water.

Read More
Chicago, Indianapolis Bet Big on User-Centric Design

Paying a water bill or filing a business license fee in Chicago is getting easier. The city has organized payments under one platform and launched the application on 50 new kiosks to be arranged around the city — in locations as varied as police stations to libraries — with the aim of making certain transactions with Chicago quicker and more seamless. The kiosks are expected to roll out this summer.

Read More
Smart Cities Connect 2018: Mayors Tap Data to Make Smart City Projects a Success

In Jasper, Ind., Mayor Terry Seitz leads a three-year initiative to bring a fiber network to all residents and businesses to his town of 15,000. He won support for the plan by explaining the opportunities the network would create as well as warning the city could be left behind in innovation and prosperity if it didn’t invest.

Read More