City 2.0: Using tech building blocks in tomorrow's urban centers
It's closer than you may think and is mostly a matter of connecting all the pieces
Computerworld - Science fiction writers call it Utopia, the glorious City of the Future. But short of downtown atriums being guarded by invisible walls and flying cars, City 2.0 is not as far off as you may think.
Ubiquitous wireless networks are already available in cities including Baltimore and Minneapolis, corporations such as Thomson Reuters have sustainable data centers that sell power back to the local utility, the smart energy grid is well on its way, and city-provided social networks are common. Indeed, the next steps toward the city of tomorrow are all about integrating these services cohesively, making them widely available across the entire metropolis and managing the services more efficiently.
"The reality is that the city of the future will likely have many aspects of a contained and managed ecosystem," says Rob Enderle, a consumer analyst with Enderle Group based in San Jose, Calif.
While the concept of City 2.0 is monumental, these key technology advancements are already helping pave the road to the next-generation city.
The smart use of energy is one of the most important goals for urban centers today. The smart grid concept centers around the idea of using electricity when it's available cheaply, rather than at peak times when it's more expensive, and allows wind and solar and other renewable sources to be integrated into the energy grid. This requires two-way communication between utility companies and the businesses and individuals who use their power. We're nowhere near a comprehensive smart grid yet, but some cities and energy companies are taking steps in that direction.
Today, a few cities, such as Boulder, Colo. and Houston, have pilot programs where customers can visit a Web site to see their real-time energy usage. Google is currently testing a PowerMeter project so employees can see not only how much energy they're using, but when and for what. EnerNOC, a provider of IP-based sensors and monitoring, is giving financial incentives to customers and utility companies that adjust supply and demand according to real-time data.
A good example of smart grid technology in action is at the Des Moines, Iowa state capitol grounds, where city officials have set up a smart grid that feeds to a central kiosk. It shows the power usage for each building in the capitol complex. To create the smart grid, the capitol buildings were wired with sensors that connect a fiber backbone, feed through a central server and then report usage data in real time to the kiosk.
"Today, departments have no incentive to save power from a government perspective," says State CIO John Gillispie. "We are working toward billing the individual departments for how much they use."
Gillispie is already planning on adding sensors for floor-level power monitoring, and envisions a day when sensors are added across the state and in multiple cities -- even on roadways and in cars, office buildings, schools and homes.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
- Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse
- Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center
- Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper
- Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support... All Government IT White Papers
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- All Government IT Webcasts