Ideas come from amazing places.
Last week, I attended ICF’s first European event, The Rural Summit, in Eindhoven, Netherlands. It was produced in association with the Huis van de Brabantse Kempen. That is an association of local Dutch governments in the rural region of the Kempen, which sprawls across southern Holland into Belgium.Read more
This year ICF is focusing on a new idea as its theme for the ICF annual Summit - the Internet of Cities. Cities are where transformation is happening at an unusual pace, especially with the convergence of the Internet of Things with the opportunities posed by 5G. Cities are also the drivers of change, where centers of innovation and creativity occur, where inclusion and circular economies take place and where cities are crucibles for experimentation and resiliency. Key areas that cities are investigating and investing in include autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, Internet of Things and smart city infrastructure. 5G will make all of these more likely and possible sooner than we imagine. As a result, cities and companies have quickened the pace for collaboration in order to be able to accommodate these transformative applications into their urban planning and design as well as into their long range budgets to deal with issues related to sustainability and resiliency. How will this be accomplished?Read more
The hype for 5G at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona from February 27- March 2 was so thick it was palpable:
“Sir, do you realize that this is a revolution that will have a great impact on economies and in the quality of our everyday lives?”
“Excuse me Mister, but did you know that 5G will enable brand new services and things that have not been possible before?”
“Hello, can I offer you an Espresso? By the way, while commercialisation of 5G is not expected to start before 2020, our company is pushing other companies and governments to standardise norms for a smooth transition to 5G use worldwide. Is that with or without sugar?”Read more
I have to explain the PLUS! in the title right away. As you can tell from the title this blog is intended to talk about the TOP7 announcement in Taipei on February 9, but so much more went on that week in Taiwan that needs to be discussed here. For instance, ICF Canada took a business delegation to Taiwan; ICF Taiwan was announced on February 9 at a special ICF-related conference focusing on the Internet of Cities; and ICF-related delegations from around the world attended the conference and TOP7 announcement from the Netherlands, Vietnam, Estonia and Hong Kong. And Lou Zacharilla and I came from ICF, the global headquarters of the ICF Think Tank in New York to officially announce the 2017 TOP7 at an event associated with Taiwan’s Lantern Festival. It was an incredible week. Where to start?Read more
One of the urban myths is that technology, especially gaming technology will create couch potatoes, making you dull, inactive and unhealthy. And for many years that was probably the case. But in July 2016 a mobile game called Pokémon Go was launched globally to immediate success. It was even called a "social media phenomenon". In Pokémon Go millions of players use GPS capability in their smartphones with an augmented reality platform to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon creatures located in the same real-world location as the player. This global phenomenon has been downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide. Even though by end of that same summer Pokémon Go’s popularity was beginning to seriously fade, the impact was evident. It got millions of video machine advocates off the couch, go outside and walk to catch their Pokémon Go characters.Read more
I had one of the most memorable New Year’s Days that I have had in my 35 years in New York. I was not hungover, which was a new experience. Yet I did celebrate with millions of New Yorkers, although not in Times Square, and not at night. Instead, I was on the Upper Eastside of the city, in my own neighborhood but with an enthusiastic crowd.
We were not watching the legendary “Ball” drop in Times Square. Honestly, this is for tourists who enjoy freezing for a free thrill which ends up costing them a lot of money because they are in Manhattan eating, drinking and sleeping after the Ball goes down. My thrill cost only US$2.75.
I rode the Subway.Read more
Over the past two decades, the concept of the smart city and Intelligent Community has evolved. ICF’s core ideas quickly went beyond the concept of primarily promoting broadband and related smart infrastructure and evolved an holistic approach reflecting people’s use and application of this infrastructure for economic, social and cultural gain; reflecting societal needs and aspirations; and encouraging innovation, advocacy and sustainability. These concepts became improved over the years, explained and reinforced, but their core values have been around for a long time.Read more
As the population of cities is expected to grow, from being home to just over 50% of the world’s population in 2015 to 60% by 2030, finding innovative solutions to improving urban resilience becomes even more pressing.Read more
In 2011, Eindhoven was selected by ICF as the Intelligent Community of the Year. It is globally renowned for its smart mobility efforts. It includes a diverse set of mobility options for its citizens including a unique raised “hovering” bicycle roundabout and street lighting and traffic signals dedicated to bicycles throughout the city and region. The city centre also includes a significant pedestrian area. Eindhoven’s Automotive Technology Centre involves over 125 organizations in collaborative projects ranging from start-up of new high-tech mobility systems to ICT companies, stimulated by being involved with the region’s incubators. The Centre for Automotive Research in the Auto Campus has had a driverless bus, called Phileas, navigate parts of Eindhoven since the late 1990s. As a smart mobility bus rapid transit system, it is intended to deliver tram-like public transport at a very low cost because of low maintenance, lack of rails, no overhead lines and the ability to recharge the battery by means of electromagnetic induction. It has had commercial success in places like Korea, Turkey and Israel. More recently, WePods are being experimented within neighbouring towns on public roads.Read more
In 2001 we established five ways that a community, whether large or small, could reconnect itself after the separation that occurred worldwide in the post-industrial economy. Among the five, the fourth was “Digital Democracy,” now known by us and communities as “Digital Equity.” It is simple to explain but hard to achieve (evidently). It means simply that, as in the great moral mandate of our species, we leave no one behind. In our case, we urged that all communities find ways to ensure that all of their population, rural or ex-urban or dense city blocks, be given access to the global economy. For it is in the “global economy” where opportunities, ideas and vast treasures and muck proliferate in ways that can rebuild our local places.Read more