All tagged Smart Cities

There have been more than 2,200 fires in the Philippines capital so far this year, mostly in slum areas. One scorching afternoon this month, inhabitants of a slum in the Philippines capital frantically hurled buckets of water to try to save their homes from a raging fire. Six hours later, their efforts proved to no avail. In a country with a yawning wealth gap, the hardest hit are the hundreds of thousands of urban poor who call the shanties home.

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After a decade of trial and error, municipal leaders are realizing that smart-city strategies start with people, not technology. “Smartness” is not just about installing digital interfaces in traditional infrastructure or streamlining city operations. It is also about using technology and data purposefully to make better decisions and deliver a better quality of life.

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Reports emanating from China indicate that the Chinese Government has moved to apply ‘urban bariatrics’ to its largest cities – Beijing and Shanghai. It seems to have accepted the concept that untrammeled demographic growth of its largest cities is undesirable beyond a point. This unsustainable ‘city obesity’, China believes, needs to be treated by the application of ‘urban bariatric surgery’.

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When Amazon opened the bidding for its second headquarters, more than 200 towns and cities in North America jumped at the opportunity to host the online giant and its 50,000 jobs. As some debate the true economic value of such a deal, new research at Harvard's Center for International Development shows it can be vital to help regions transform their economies and diversify into new economic activities.

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Pollution issues in India will not go away in a hurry. This is because we have still not started measuring and quantifying pollution. Be it the dirty air, it's toxic water or its sewage filled streets, things are likely to go from bad to worse till some crisis grips the nation. Political indifference and administrative and citizens apathy has ensured that little has been done to reverse the trend in the last decade.

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