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Smart Towns: Living Labs for Smart Cities

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Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
3/31/2014 9:33:04 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: knowing where to put the stethescope!
I know plenty of Americans who view water as free and are utterly cavalier about its use. It makes me CRAZY when I am in a public restroom and another woman leaves the stall, turns on the sink, and then does her hair or lipstick or whatever, THEN washes her hands. What IS that? Or in Starbucks, when the water is just gushing out of a sink with one or two blender containers or mugs in it. I wish we as a country could begin to view water as a precious resource but there is going to need to be some serious educational effort in order to make that happen. I will say this: DC Water bills are going up substantially due in part to a big construction project to reduce the stormwater runoff problem, and I have heard folks talking about the spikes in their billls. I say, hit 'em in the pocketbook if you can't get their attention other ways.

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
3/27/2014 6:30:12 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: knowing where to put the stethescope!
"That's a startling number, 70 percent reduction in water waste."

The number is impressive, but water leaks should be detected and fixed ASAP. Fresh water is an expensive comodity and anything that can be done to save it is a good investment.

The EU has passed legislation limiting the amount of water washing machines use and the size of toilet tanks.

We pay an average of €30/month ($42) for water and sewage for two people in Barcelona, and they city doesn't allow to offer unlimited water use in rental contracts.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
3/27/2014 2:46:45 AM
User Rank Blogger
Human v sensors
I agree, sensors for these things should become mandatory for utility companies with contracts to run water or waste facilities. These things cost too much not to measure.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
3/26/2014 4:39:48 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: knowing where to put the stethescope!
That's a startling number, 70 percent reduction in water waste. Good gracious. But I suppose that is the promise of RFID: a cheap (well, the tags themselves are cheap, if not the system that pulls information off of them and analyzes it) way to be the eyes and ears that humans cannot or will not be. When it comes to intentionally and illegally opened fire hydrants or, say, restaurant bathroom taps that are leaking gallons an hour, human nature is such that we don't always know where to how to intervene effectively in a water-loss situation. Sensors don't have that problem; they emit their findings until recognized and responded to. 

 

CitySolver
CitySolver  
3/25/2014 3:06:33 PM
User Rank Blogger
knowing where to put the stethescope!
This is a great example of how cities can become smart without redically changing infrastructure. If all cities decreased their water waste by 70% we would be doing greta. Its finding what we can acheive easily and then building on that sucess, smart cities dont have to be expensive but they do have to be.. well..'smart'!!

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
3/13/2014 3:29:35 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Excellent model
why not gear up for a bigger start and save through economy  of scale?

The advantage of their solution is they used existing, easy to source, technology, and they just designed the implementation. The sensors are widely available and IBM provided the control center solution at a reasonable price.

Bigger cities need much more planning, especially in heavily populated areas. There are certain places in Barcelona where the popultaion in one sq km is bigger than the whole Bajo Bidasoa

HenryWalbesser
HenryWalbesser  
3/12/2014 11:27:12 AM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Excellent model
The answer is that not all solutions are equal and not all theories are complete.

There are two competing issues.  First larger the set of people from which to get ideas the more likely we are to find great ideas.  Second is the more people that need to agree on an idea the longer it takes and more likely we are to settle on best sounding versus the best idea.

There is also the fact that not everyone accepts the same trade offs as the optimal solution.

So by creating several small real whole laboratories, solutions can be compared sub components can be shared and an actual evaluation of solutions by those that have to live with it can be done.

If you prefer the scientific way of looking at it, the theories can make predictions and the predictions can be tested.  By running many smaller experiments concurrently the results can help to modify the theories more quickly and make the theories better.  Then the theories that best match the experimental data can make predictions on scaling up and those can be tested.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
3/12/2014 10:53:42 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Excellent model
Starting small seems like a great idea. But, is there really a "small" start when you start putting sensors everywhere, and gear up the data analysis to match the task? If there's some valid theory that the smart town idea will prove useful and in the end benefit the citizens, why not gear up for a bigger start and save through economy  of scale?

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
3/6/2014 4:43:32 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Excellent model
@Henry, thank you for your comment, those towns did not started the project to be a libing lab, but to solve pressing issues. That are has recently experienced a substantial population growth, and they needed to adapt to service the gowing needs of their citizens.

But they have proven sucessful with a model that lets them save money and resources and can be adapted to small cities.

Bigger cities can use the model to optimize services and resources by districts and neighborhoods.

HenryWalbesser
HenryWalbesser  
3/5/2014 11:12:51 AM
User Rank Village Voice
Excellent model
I really lilke this approach.  The idea of starting on a smaller scale is great.

The different towns can try several different solutions and see which works better. 

Better can be measured many ways but the one I'm interested in is which towns are then able to attract more people and businesses in the long run. 

The real measure will be how these solutions handle the next set of crises.  Many ideas seem great at the start but the real test is how they handle real world events and are they something people actually are willing to pay for.

It sounds like the initial implementation is off to a great start and I hope there are many imitators with slightly different solutions so we are able to compare the results.

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