News

News related to the Urban Opus Project or open data in general.

From Smart Urban to Smart Rural

Urban Opus is a partner in a new Canadian national research project looking at how data can benefit rural communities. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of ‘smart city’ projects occur in large urban centers.  There are a variety of reasons for this, including the unfortunate perception that rural cities, towns and villages have less cash, capacity and incentive for data solutions.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  For example, while large cities seek economic benefit from the smart management of the internal complexity of…

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Smart City Standards – an overview

Trying to make sense of Smart City standardization activities Follow @rodgerlea Updated Jan 2017. You may be interested in my article on Technology Trends affecting Smart Cities which includes a discussion of Smart City Standards. Update Nov. 2016: This blog has been turned into an article for the IEEE standards online Magazine, read it here Recently I’ve been trying to get a handle on Smart City standards for an IEEE trend paper I’ve been asked to write on Smart Cities.…

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A Poster for Smart City Public Engagement

In preparation for some workshops Urban Opus has created a poster (below) to illustrate the how open, proprietary and citizen data co-exist in smart cities intent on effective public engagement. The key insight is that most cities currently have completely unbalanced priorities related to the Inform, Consult, Involve and Observe interaction channels with their citizens through data.  Healthy, smart cities will seek to cultivate an evolving, transparent balance. ESRI has separately classified citizen engagement into seven categories as follows: Public Information, Public Reporting,…

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The No. 1 citizen engagement strategy for Smart Cities – Bribery?

Bribery, or perhaps it’s better described as clever bartering, is at the heart of a number of Smart City applications. I came across a lovely example of it recently in a service from Glasgow city aimed at improving energy efficiency for the city. The planners wanted to develop a 3D model of the city, with information on building efficiency, roof types, energy use, etc. The goal: “The model would allow energy planners to look at all aspects of energy consumption…

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Mobs, Tribes & Peers

A new start-up venture emerging from Urban Opus is demonstrating how social networking data can help communities become stronger, smarter and more innovative. The “wisdom of crowds” is like an urban myth: we want to believe, but tangible examples are hard to pin down.  And don’t crowds often turn into mobs?  Volatility and unpredictability make us wary of digital democracy. If collective humanity is to become a primary source of intelligence for smart cities we need to understand how to make ‘common sense’ not just absolutely reliable, but also quantifiably better than any other…

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Smart City Copenhagen: key lessons from the Head of City Data, Winn Nielsen

Follow @rodgerlea I recently attended a presentation by Winn Nielsen, Head of City Data for Copenhagen. I was struck both by how far they had gone in laying the foundation for a smart, data driven city, and by how similar their approach to data was to the Urban Opus model. Some of the key messages from Winn’s presentation are: Complexity of issues and the need for technology suppliers to be partners not traditional suppliers. Winn stressed several times that the…

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BookLore – The Internet of Things We Read

My local public library has a door slot for returning books after hours.  You can see the growing pile of books through the window, and on some weekends the pile gets so tall, reaching back up to the slot, that you can imagine a fantasy scenario where the books inside have crawled to the door and climbed on top of one another to try to get out through the slot, perhaps to search for readers… A similar ‘social life of…

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Canadian Smart City Mission to Europe

One of our partner companies, Sense Tecnic Systems Inc, was recently invited to participate in a Canadian trade mission to Europe representing Canada’s Smart City technology companies. The trade mission, involving 15 Canadian companies first visited the UK for a 1 day smart city workshop. This was well attended by UK companies and innovation groups including: Future Cities Catapult: UK’s innovation hub for Smart Cities: video link, seek to 15 minutes in Bristol is Open: Smart City platform and projects from…

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Canada’s new priority on the Future of Cities

Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) has today announced that the Future of Cities is the first of a series of high-priority innovation drivers for the Canadian economy.   The Future of Cities priority was distilled from a program of national consultations resulting in the NRC Gamechanging Technologies Initiative.

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BC Hydro – Smart City Panel – October 27

Smart Cities on the Pathway to Net-Zero – 2015 Power Smart Forum – October 27, 2015 Vancouver BC Hydro hosts an annual Power Smart Forum for its major customers, and this year a keynote panel will address “Smart City” opportunities globally, and in Canada, with specific focus on smart grids and energy-related innovations. Smart cities are about open data, open infrastructure, and open innovation. Digital technologies and innovative design are changing the way citizens use resources and are affecting how…

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