urban Archives — LIRNEasia

The Deputy Mayor of New York City under Bloomberg and Google are launching a new initiative, presumably for cities in the developed economies, that will take an approach different from the sensor-intensive centralized models promoted by IBM and the like, according to NYT: Major technology companies, like IBM and Cisco, already have large businesses that apply information technology, to improving the efficiency of cities. IBM has used its researchers and technical prowess in projects like traffic management in Stockholm and microlevel weather forecasting to predict the location of life-threatening mudslides in Rio de Janeiro. Sidewalk Labs, Mr. Doctoroff said, planned to work in “the huge space between civic hackers and traditional big technology companies.” While big technology companies take a “top-down approach and seek to embed themselves in a city’s infrastructure,” he said Sidewalk Labs would instead seek to develop “technology platforms that people can plug into” for things like managing energy use or altering commuting habits.
Bangladesh’s leading English language newspaper, the Daily Star, has carried a story on what that country could gain from analysis of mobile network big data. He said a lot of people are now talking about big data, but the current models of data analysis do not cover all the people, especially the poor. Mobile networks’ big data can be used to reach this segment, he added. Big data can give organisations access to more data than they have experienced before, and thus give them the opportunity to discover data correlations and patterns. Access to more accurate information can influence their business in many ways.

A better way to define rural

Posted on July 6, 2014  /  3 Comments

Nalaka Gunawardene asks good questions. So I paid attention when he tweeted: Where does urban end & rural begin in #lka? Not silly admin demarcations, but in REAL terms? What decides: Tele-density? Purchasing power?
Since 2006, when the majority of the world’s population became city-dwellers (can’t use the original term “citizens” because it has now lost its connection to cities), there has been a great deal of interest in understanding these engines of economic growth. Here are some findings from Spain, in the process of being replicated in Asia. The results reveal some fascinating patterns in city structure. For a start, every city undergoes a kind of respiration in which people converge into the center and then withdraw on a daily basis, almost like breathing. And this happens in all cities.