Construction for Berlin's tallest building is scheduled to be completeled in 2023. Plans are for 3400 software developers to occupy 28 of the 35 stories. It will be located on the Warschauer Bridge, next to the East Side Mall, a relic of the Media Spree era. Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg will be transformed into a hotspot for tech giants. The mantra of it brings jobs is repeated. Of course those jobs are not intended for local residents. The neighborhood will see a demographic shift, with tech firms disrupting the neighborhood staples: small businesses, schools, community initiatives and cultural centers. In Silicon Valley, the consequences of laissez faire capitalism is apparent. The recent victories in New York City and Kreuzber show that we are not simply at the mercy of real estate, but that we can successfully push back against tech giants through grassroots coalitions. This is exactly what we aim for. Together we creatively and loudly protest against the Amazon infestation in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. A conglomerate like Amazon, which harasses employees, pays no taxes while earning hundreds of billions, and propogates digital surveillance, has no business in Berlin or anywhere! The city belongs to us!
High-tech smart cities promise efficiency by monitoring everything from bins to bridges. But what if we ditched the data and embraced ancient technology instead?
Guardian Cities is concluding with ‘The case for ...”, a series of opinion pieces exploring options for radical urban change.
As cities, the closest democratic institutions to the people, we are committed to eliminating impediments to harnessing technological opportunities that improve the lives of our constituents, and to providing trustworthy and secure digital services and infrastructures that support our communities. We strongly believe that human rights principles such as privacy, freedom of expression, and democracy must be incorporated by design into digital platforms starting with locally-controlled digital infrastructures and services.
Affordable Land (or ‘Community Land’) is a form of leasehold that precludes speculation, and so allows councils to license land as a low-cost platform for society and the economy, instead of simply selling it to land traders. It requires no government borrowing, no new legislation and it can exist alongside the existing property market.
Todos queremos cidades com serviços eficientes e baratos que melhorem o transporte, a saúde, a moradia, a educação etc. Mas a questão é como evitar que nossas cidades se tornem máquinas de precarizar tra
Despite Justin Trudeau’s exclamation that, through a partnership with Google’s sister company Sidewalk Labs, the waterfront neighborhood could help turn the area into a “thriving hub for innovation”, questions immediately arose over how the new wired town would collect and protect data.
A year into the project, those questions have resurfaced following the resignation of a privacy expert, Dr Ann Cavoukian, who claimed she left her consulting role on the initiative to “send a strong statement” about the data privacy issues the project still faces.
Sidewalk Labs is only footing the bill for the first 12 acres in Quayside–and not even that, entirely. The company would pay for the construction of its buildings as any developer would. (It might then bring in another contractor, or perhaps even a nonprofit, we’re told by a spokesperson, to handle leasing.) But much of the concept is dependent upon all sorts of other infrastructural upgrades to areas like sewage, which could run $6 billion on their own. Sidewalk Labs is offering to foot this cost as a loan, but Toronto would have to pay the company back. Sidewalk Labs argues that the increased property taxes generated by this new development would be new money for Toronto, and could therefore be used to pay back the loan over many years without being an additional tax burden on the city.
The idea behind the book is to ask what would it be like to live in a city administered using the business model of Amazon (or Apple, IKEA, Pornhub, Spotify, Tinder, Uber, and more), or a city where critical public services are delivered by these companies?
Residents living around Plaça del Sol joke that theirs is the only square where, despite the name, rain is preferable. Rain means fewer people gather to socialise and drink, reducing noise for the flats overlooking the square. Residents know this with considerable precision because they’ve developed a digital platform for measuring noise levels and mobilising action. I was told the joke by Remei, one of the residents who, with her ‘citizen scientist’ neighbours, are challenging assumptions about Big Data and the Smart City.
New York’s network infrastructure is a lot like the city itself: messy, sprawling, and at times near-incomprehensible. However, the city’s tendency toward flux is a strange blessing for the infrastructure sightseer: markings and remnants of the network are almost everywhere, once you know how to look for them.
Faced with a digital transition with multiple societal effects for the territories, it is necessary to build community capacity in the area of development and governance of urban data services to make them instruments of the general interest encouraging the energy and ecological transition, the revitalization and accessibility of centers small and medium towns.
Over the past two years, Sidewalk Toronto has brought some important questions about cities – and our collective futures – into sharp focus. Some of those questions are new; others we’ve been asking for a long time. This is a collection of ideas to help build on and continue these discussions.
We asked contributors for a short, standalone description of an idea, policy, strategy, or best practice that might expand this conversation about cities. The people we asked met three basic criteria: a) people that have shown an interest in contributing to the discussion b) people that have a history of participating in public discourse and c) people with an explicit mission of inclusivity in their work. This list of contributors is not comprehensive or complete.
Within the collection there are conflicting ideas and world-views, which is exactly the point: to open up dialogue and create the largest possible tent to discuss what we want to see in our cities and spaces and how we might make those things happen. Our hope is that this convening will make space for more collaboration and conversation in the future.
Half of a hundred cities from around the planet are part of the task force of collaborative actions regarding challenges and opportunities of the platform economy. Who is part of this working group? What are their objectives? How can your city join?
Strengthening existing foundations between UK and Indian academics and societal partners, the project will learn from three small cities which are all undergoing city-wide retrofitting and area-based improvements in smart technologies and infrastructures as part of India's national 100 Smart Cities programme. Using interdisciplinary approaches from urban studies, social and cultural geography, sociology and geoinformatics, it will contribute to evidence based policy related to SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
If the ambition beneath the instrumentation of the body is ostensible self-mastery, and that of the home is convenience, the ambition at the heart of the smart city is nothing other than control – the desire to achieve a more efficient use of space, energy and other resources.