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Smart cities need thick data, not big data

Adrian Smith at The Guardian: “…The Smart City is an alluring prospect for many city leaders. Even if you haven’t heard of it, you may have already joined in by looking up bus movements on your phone, accessing Council services online or learning about air contamination levels. By inserting sensors across city infrastructures and creating new […]

Austin is piloting blockchain to improve homeless services

Danny Crichton at TechCrunch: “While the vagaries of the cryptocurrency markets are keeping crypto traders glued to their CoinDesk graphs, the real potential of blockchain is its capability to solve real human challenges in a decentralized, private, and secure way. Government officials have increasingly investigated how blockchain might solve critical problems, but now one city […]

Online gamers control trash collecting water robot

Springwise: “Urban Rivers is a Chicago-based charity focused on cleaning up the city’s rivers and re-wilding bankside habitats. One of their most visible pieces of work is a floating habitat installed in the middle of the river that runs through the city. An immediate problem that arose after installation was the accumulation of trash. At first, […]

The use of Facebook by local authorities: a comparative analysis of the USA, UK and Spain

F. Javier Miranda, Antonio Chamorro and Sergio Rubio in Electronic Government: “The social networks have increased the ways in which public administrations can actively interact with the public. However, these new means of communication are not always used efficiently to create an open and two-way relationship. The purpose of this study is to analyse the presence on […]

Obfuscating with transparency

Jeremy Berg at Science: “Transparency is critical when it comes to decision-making that broadly affects the public, particularly when it comes to policies purported to be grounded in scientific evidence. The scientific community has been increasingly focused on improving the transparency of research through initiatives that represent good-faith efforts to enhance the robustness of scientific […]

Open Smart Cities in Canada: Environmental Scan and Case Studies

Report by Tracey Lauriault, Rachel Bloom, Carly Livingstone and Jean-Noé Landry: “This executive summary consolidates findings from a smart city environmental scan (E-Scan) and five case studies of smart city initiatives in Canada. The E-Scan entailed compiling and reviewing documents and definitions produced by smart city vendors, think tanks, associations, consulting firms, standards organizations, conferences, civil society organizations, including […]

Literature review on collective intelligence: a crowd science perspective

Chao Yu in the International Journal of Crowd Science: “A group can be of more power and better wisdom than the sum of the individuals. Foreign scholars have noticed that for a long time and called it collective intelligence. It has emerged from the communication, collaboration, competition and brain storming, etc. Collective intelligence appears in […]

What if a nuke goes off in Washington, D.C.? Simulations of artificial societies help planners cope with the unthinkable

Mitchell Waldrop at Science: “…The point of such models is to avoid describing human affairs from the top down with fixed equations, as is traditionally done in such fields as economics and epidemiology. Instead, outcomes such as a financial crash or the spread of a disease emerge from the bottom up, through the interactions of […]

Modernizing Crime Statistics: New Systems for Measuring Crime

(Second) Report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: “To derive statistics about crime – to estimate its levels and trends, assess its costs to and impacts on society, and inform law enforcement approaches to prevent it – a conceptual framework for defining and thinking about crime is virtually a prerequisite. Developing and […]