The transformative potential of real-time transportation coordination, helping cities to rethink how they manage road space, address transport equity, and approach public-private collaborations

By Kevin WebbFollow, Jan 12, 2017 Editor’s note: Kevin Webb spent 2016 as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Sidewalk Labs, exploring the impact of digital communications technologies on transportation. For all the heavy partisanship of this election season, the one area of near agreement was over the need to improve America’s transportation infrastructure. Whether or not President-elect Trump’s infrastructure ideas see the light …

New tools to see energy from space, analyze best options

WRI, May 2019 Seeing Energy from Space Being able to see energy infrastructure from space allows researchers to not only identify the location of key infrastructure, but to determine key characteristics, such as a power plants’ fuel type, cooling technology, and emission plumes.  In the past, when electricity data was not reported, there were no alternative sources. Today we can use …

147 million years of healthy life lost, every year: now info on the sources will be available, from every single power plant in the world, in real-time, via satellite

A nonprofit artificial intelligence firm called WattTime is going to use satellite imagery to precisely track the air pollution (including carbon emissions) coming out of every single power plant in the world, in real time. And it’s going to make the data public. WattTime, a nonprofit that is now a subsidiary of the Rocky Mountain Institute, made a splash earlier this year with Automated …

Chicago publishes ride-hailing info on open data portal

Katie Pyzyk on Smart Cities Dive, April 16, 2019 Chicago has published comprehensive data from ride-hailing companies including Uber, Lyft and Via on its open data portal. The data sets provide the public with information about ride-hailing trips, drivers and vehicles. The city reports that it took the key step of removing sensitive personal information to maintain driver, rider and company privacy. The data sets …

It is about the abuse of power, and standing up to power: Facebook has been used to undermine elections all across the world, including our own

Cambridge Analytica a year on: ‘a lesson in institutional failure’: One year after she broke the scandal, Carole Cadwalladr talks to whistleblower Christopher Wylie about the fallout for big tech, and the fight to hold the culprits to account.  In March 2018, Wylie showed the Guardian/Observer a cache of documents revealing how CA had engaged a research company to mine the data of …

Smart cities focus on well-being and staff as community builders who help foster trust, harmony and, indeed, happiness

Report, “Smart Cities: A Toolkit for Leaders,” urges city leaders to rethink their roles. They should see themselves not as managers of bureaucracies but as community builders who help foster trust, harmony and, indeed, happiness.  The critical first step is reimagining the role of city leaders. They should see themselves first and foremost as stewards of citizen satisfaction. Once they change …

Electric Utilities Must Stop Illegally Concealing Public Cost Data

The traditional utility model uses its rate payers as cash cows. With the build out of renewable energy, are we going down the same path?”  Approximately one quarter of all utility bills go to paying for infrastructure. As those costs go up, so do our electric bills. Finding ways to deliver zero emissions electricity to end users more economically would go …

Integrating Higher Levels of Renewables: Hawaii’s Interoperable Grid Communications and Next-Gen Grid Planning

DistribuTech Spotlight: Hawaii’s Interoperable Grid Communications and Next-Gen Grid Planning, JEFF ST. JOHN GTM FEBRUARY 08, 2019 HECO picks Landis+Gyr for world’s first Wi-SUN-certified smart grid network and startup Opus One for novel “integrated distribution planning” software. This is a very different kind of advanced metering infrastructure. Distributed energy integration is the watchword for this year’s DistribuTech conference in New Orleans, even if the …

Los Angeles’ mobility data specification unlocks potential for data management

​The data and API standard allows the city to gather, analyze and compare real-time data from MaaS companies — and can be duplicated in other cities, as well. Katie Pyzyk, Smart Cities Dive, Jan. 24, 2019 https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/los-angeles-mobility-data-specification-dockless-rideshare/546692/ As the dockless bike and e-scooter trend rapidly spreads across the country, cities are increasingly trying to figure out the best ways to manage the …

Real development vs. an extractive economy or colonization

So what happens if we measure global poverty at the low end of this more realistic spectrum – $7.40 per day, to be extra conservative? Well, we see that the number of people living under this line has increased dramatically since measurements began in 1981, reaching some 4.2 billion people today. Suddenly the happy Davos narrative melts away. And on Bill Gates’ …