IBM Watson launches a “Siri for Cities” app as more tech companies clamor for smart cities where “things” can communicate and supply data
The IT industry is pushing relentlessly to institutionalize smart cities by installing internet-connected lampposts, digital signage, building facades, and more. IT research and advisory firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, 2.9 billion connected “things” will be in use in the consumer sector.
IBM Watson jas joined the breakneck race with the launch of its “Siri for Cities,” a cognitive computing platform that enables users to ask complex questions about city services. By speaking into their smartphones, laptops or Apple Watches, residents can inquire about fire and police services to parking and waste collection.
Monday, August 3, 2015
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California – and much of the Western United States – is currently in the midst of a severe and unprecedented water crisis. In a recent op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, laid out the dire situation in California, brought on by historic drought and depleting water supplies: “Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing.”
The stakes couldn’t be higher: not only is California the most populous state in country, it is by far the largest agricultural producer. According to many experts, the drought in California correlates to both unsustainable human practices and the larger product of unsustainable human activity: climate change. With current responses largely amounting to “too-little-too-late,” the clock is ticking for California.
In response, Archinect is launching “Dry Futures”, a future-focused ideas competition seeking imaginative, pragmatic, idealist, or perhaps even dystopic, design proposals for the future of California’s drought.Dry Futures is divided into two categories: one for speculative projects (ie. proposals that involve realities, futures or technologies not yet imagined), and one for pragmatic responses (ie. proposals that could actually be implemented within current economic and technological conditions). Water may very well end up being the determining issue of the next century, and architects, progenitors of the built environment, have a responsibility to act.
The competition launched on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Submissions will be open until Tuesday, September 1, with jury deliberations taking place September 7 – 11. Winners will be announced on September 14.
While Google is photographing your street, its cars will also be mapping the air city dwellers breathe
Will we call it Air View? Google is collaborating with San Francisco–based, pollution-tech start-up Aclima to begin assessing air quality in metropolitan areas across the United States. Cars Google uses to capture its popular Street Views have been equipped with Aclima’s environmental sensors and will be able to detect pollutants such as Methane, Carbon Dioxide, and Black Carbon.
The concept of car-free city centers is fast spreading throughout Europe as increasingly gridlocked thoroughfares render the private car intolerable. Brussels, Belgium, has announced the development of pedestrian boulevards in its city center—with a ban on cars effective from June 29, 2015—where the city will stage recreational and cultural activities throughout the summer.
Daniel Libeskind is the latest high-profile architect to unveil a pyramid-shaped skyscraper, this time in Jerusalem
Jerusalem‘s municipal committee has approved the construction of The Pyramid, a 26 story building by starchitect Daniel Libeskind that will become the city’s second tallest building. Libeskind worked alongside Israeli architect Yigal Levi in designing the 344-foot-tall luxury high-rise that is set to break ground by 2019.
This fake town by the University of Michigan to become testing ground for developing smarter driverless cars
Researchers the University of Michigan just one-upped a recent virtual SimCity project for testing smart technologies of future cities. A tangible, 32-acre testing ground for driverless cars called MCity pits autonomous vehicles against every conceivable real-life obstacle, minus the caprice of human drivers.
Four Boston design firms fill the Rose Kennedy Greenway with art at the intersection of architecture
As Boston continues to ponder its Brutalist city hall, professor suggests covering the behemoth with a glass veil
Like so many Brutalist buildings around the word, Boston’s iconic City Hall has not necessarily endeared itself to the public. Since it opened in the 1960s, there have been calls to update the building, completely overhaul it, and to demolish it outright and start over. There have, of course, also been calls to preserve it.
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Apple is planning to build a viewing platform and visitors center so you can gaze upon its Foster-designed headquarters
Apple’s upcoming doughnut-shaped flying saucer of a headquarters is steadily taking shape in Cupertino, California. The Norman Foster–designed, $5 billion complex obviously strays from the typical office park setup of clusters of boxy, generic buildings, but despite its starchitect design, it has attracted plenty of criticism for how little it engages with the community and the non-Apple employees who walk among us.
One Dutch architect has re-envisioned suburbia and city centers as car-free urban forests in which dwellings are disguised as trees. Raimond de Hullu’s new home designs, known as OAS1S, feature tall, slim, detached townhouses shaped like the numeral “1” as symbols of the “deep human need to become one with nature.”
This Saturday, a projection-mapped display will cover the Empire State Building to raise awareness about endangered species
As supertall residential towers reach new heights in Manhattan, the Empire State Building still stands strong in New York City‘s skyline—especially after dusk. The building’s crown is quintessential New York and a sky-high representation of holidays, anniversaries, and the day’s news in colorful light. On Saturday night, the Empire State Building will be used for even more.