Wind Turbines For the Rest of Us

Two weeks ago I spoke at the i-Canada, "Building an Intelligent Nation" conference in Windsor, Ontario. To Ontario residents not familiar with the Southern Ontario landscape, I'll let you in on a little secret: In spite of what anti wind power groups say, it seems the population around Windsor has embraced wind technologies in a massive way. There are...

City Hackathons and Other Pastimes

Pablo Sánchez Chillón. Innovative Urban Planner and Founder of EOLEXCITYLAB offers readers a comprehensive view of the "City Hacking" movement. You may remember that MESH Cities founder Robert Ouellette was among the first city hackers launching the "TTC Website Challenge" in 2007 (and, of course, one of the first digital cities: "Virtual Metropolis-John Street"). Ouellette believes truly sustainable, responsive...

Controlling Cities With Your Voice

A few weeks ago MESH Cities speculated on the future of ubiquitous urban computing as made possible by Apple Computer's Siri voice command system. That story may have been a bit breathless in its enthusiasm, but now Siri hacks are coming out and those hacks give insights into where the voice-operated city might go. Take a look at this YouTube...

Let There Be Light (or not)

Steve Mann (yes, that Steve Mann, Cyborg fans) is a MESH Cities supporter. In addition to his work as a professor at the University of Toronto, and on his "Hydraulikos" project, Steve keeps track of the latest trends in responsive, city technologies. Steve writes: The new streetlights being installed all across Europe have motion-sensing cameras that see how many cars...

Decision Points: How to See the Future

In MESH Cities information drives local economies. Deriving that information, disseminating it, and finally, understanding it are the new engines of economic and social prosperity. Some regions manage the so-called information economy better than others. Not surprisingly, those with information management skill manifest that skill through a cascade of life-improving initiatives that span the public and private sectors. The regions...

Blue Oceans: The Potential Market for Mobile

Smartphone platform use as of 2011 with "blue ocean" of potential growth. There are about 350 million cellphones in use across North America. One-third of those are smartphones. The winning smartphone platform has yet to be determined, but as the above chart shows, Android-based phones have edged out RIM and Apple to lead the race. More importantly for MESH Cities readers,...

Is IBM Driving the Smart City Bus?

straddlingbus In Shenzhen, China. Officials are considering a “straddling bus” system designed by Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment, to be built directly on existing roadways. Are massive infrastructure solutions like this the key to smarter, more sustainable cities? IBM launched the next phase of its world-changing competition for cities last month securing that company's place as the dominant commercial player...

Libelium Cracks the Pedestrian/Bicyclist Tracking Problem

Spanish MESH City upstart Libelium is offering urban designers and traffic engineers new tools that may just change the way we manage the massive conurbations we call 21st Century cities. The company has come up with a technology that can monitor how many people are using a street or sidewalk or bike lane. If you know anything about the...

Will Virgin Galactic Thrust MESH Cities Into Tomorrow?

Last week Richard Branson and Foster+Partners opened the world's first commercial space port in the New Mexico desert. Part of Branson's push to be the first to offer flights into space for consumers, albeit very rich ones, the space port opens a discussion about the benefits advanced technologies like this bring to the future sustainability of our planet, not...

A now famous argument began when Richard Florida released "Who's Your City" and put forth the idea that the world is not flat but spiky. Florida took aim at New York TImes columnist and author Thomas Friedman who had earlier, and somewhat famously proposed that the world is flat (of course metaphorically, but I am sure there are some...