Doing a little more research into what a “smart city” is

The Future is Now (At the Base of Mt. Fuji)

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Joseph Greco posted Jan 20, 2021 4:02 PM

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Doing a little more research into what a “smart city” is, I first went and checked out a video from Toyota about their “Woven City” (Toyota UK, 2020). From the 1:15 to 1:23 mark of the video, there is some kind of social environment with what maybe are food stalls? There were around 18 of them in a circle in what looked like the town center or something. That jumped out to me the most as it was the one thing I couldn’t easily identify. Aside from that, this woven city looked almost utopia-like, with integrated walking paths with small vehicle traffic, drones delivering things, and robots in the household. For me, a lot of this strays from reality when things like utility works and major construction projects come into play that don’t have that nice shine to them. I think what would be more definable for a “Smart City” is the idea that nobody needs a personal vehicle. This idea of the personal vehicle is so tied to the American Dream that we have let it set the standard, thus preventing logistics from truly thriving. If having a personal vehicle was instead frowned upon, where walking and public transportation was the norm, then we can begin to build this smart city. Without that fundamental value change, this is a farce.

That being said, if I was the Transportation Manager of a city, I would first fully re-vamp public transportation. A rail system connecting the entire city is a must. This has been almost perfected in the city of Seoul, South Korea. However, carrying over values of the western world, many Koreans still have a car as well. This results in mass traffic jams and more polluted, noisy cities. The city would need to have the amenities to not only let people live their life without a car, but thrive without that car. From there, the more “smart” features could begin to be integrated, such as driverless busses/trolleys, integrated roads for service/utility vehicles, and then even some kind of system for moving a large amount of groceries for example. I don’t think door-to-door delivery is the answer for if someone wants to go do a routine grocery shop, but there would need to be something to help people move a large amount of things like that, perhaps even some robotic carriage (cart) device. Once this public transportation is available for everyone to get to work, go to leisure centers (parks, malls, sports fields, libraries, etc.), and see others, then the city would be on its way to being truly smart.

Would I live in one of these cities? Absolutely. I really dislike driving my car to/from work everyday but living here in England I don’t have a choice. With all of this technology, I can see the argument that some of it may need your personal data and that maybe logistic managers would want to track who goes where and when to better account for transportation flow. Some members could take this as a breach of personal data, but at this point in 2021 the idea of personal security is as much a farce as reaching Mars this year. That being said, personal privacy would be key and be advocated strongly. People couldn’t live in a “Smart City” if they didn’t feel secure. I really do hope that Toyota gets a chance to make their city at the base of Mt. Fuji and I’d love to visit! (maybe even live there for a year or two if I could get a job…)

References

Toyota UK. (January 7, 2020). Toyota’s Woven City: a Prototype City of the Future. YouTube. Retrieved January 20, 2021 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng3X39lenvg

Future of Transportation

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Keith Taylor posted Jan 18, 2021 5:56 PM

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If I were to manage the transportation of a city, I’d choose Arlington, Virginia. This is an area of interest of many innovative thinkers and companies. Amazon has established its new headquarters in crystal city, just blocks from the Pentagon and minutes away from Washington DC. I believe proximity matters. Many of the innovative companies in this area are at arm’s reach of policy makers and have a better chance of advocating for their enhanced policy proposals and future vision. I’d first implement transportation plan that reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to include driverless vehicles. This will be broken down by phases; due to the close proximity of policy makers, I’d offer contract support at a reduced cost to the government to be the company’s eyes, voice, and advocate. The relationship between my company and policy makers will build trust and enhance the chances of my enhanced transportation development plan going into action. Networking and knowing the right people go a long way near the beltway (DC area) and establishing a solid relationship with the government will enhance the chances of my plan going into effect. I believe there is a sufficient amount of data collected on alternative fueled vehicles and I’d use this data to my advantage. Transportation in and around the DC area that do not rely on fossil fuels has gained attention from policy makers, so a plan to reduce GHG emissions should be an easy sell. I would love to live in a smart city. I believe the world will be full of smart cities in the future, it is inevitable. ”Smart cities bring together infrastructure and technology to improve the quality of life of citizens and enhance their interactions with the urban environment.” The same way smart phones evolve around people life, smart cities will be a part of everyone’s life.

Reference:

Ellsmoor, J. (2019). Smart Cities: The Future Of Urban Development. Forbes. Retrieved on 18 January 2021 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/05/19/smart-cities-the-future-of-urban-development/?sh=66f8af802f90