The next Silicon Valley is emerging everywhere

When we first started The Next Silicon Valley several years ago, it was based on places trying to create their own Silicon Valley like innovation ecosystem. Now, it’s no longer about the label or the question that we are often asked, ‘where is the next Silicon Valley’. Instead, the debate has moved on.
One of the key aspects of creating successful innovation ecosystems is the collaboration aspect. The Economist Intelligence Unit has articulated this well in a survey ahead of its own innovation conference in Chicago. In its report, ‘Innovation Clusters: Why companies are better together’, it talks about the success factors that have shaped five key clusters – London’s silicon roundabout, Singapore, Estonia, Boulder (USA), and Bangalore (India).

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Source: The next Silicon Valley is emerging everywhere


Big cities need to be smarter.

The cities we live in are about to be transformed. More than half of us live in urban areas. By 2050, the population of the world’s cities will increase by roughly seven billion – the size of today’s global population.

Take London. In February 2015, the population was about 8.6 million and, according to the mayor’s office, it will reach nine million before New York City does.

This growth means cities have to evolve to keep up with the inevitable overcrowding, climate change, traffic gridlocks and housing crises.

The solution: using digital technology to plan, operate and develop our urban sprawls. In 2016, countries ranging from South Korea to Saudi Arabia will experiment with “smartifying’’ their cities: some will be born digital, such as Songdo in South Korea, while others, including Amsterdam, will be updated road by road, with intelligent infrastructure.

Singapore is testing the most advanced inventions, from self-driving cars to city-wide flood sensors. In the UK, Crossrail will be a digital railway, and innovative local data projects such as Bath: Hacked are using open data to track areas of local deprivation, find a parking space or rent a bicycle in town, and report on air quality.

In China and India, almost 300 smart-city pilots are planned, and Arup predicts a global market for smart-city technologies and services worth $408bn by 2020. David Cameron recently announced a five-year, £10m partnership with the Indian government to develop three smart cities: Amravati, Indore and Pune.

Technology will not be the answer to everything, but it must be part of the answer

Currently, 80pc of the world’s megacities – those with a population of more than 10 million – are in the South: Asia, Africa and South America. These cities don’t necessarily have the infrastructure for high-powered sensors and complex control systems.

A lab led by Professor Gerhard Schmitt at ETH Zurich, Switzerland’s premier technical university, has projects running in 20 of these cities, including Addis Ababa, Lagos and Jakarta, working on projects such as digital energy grids.

As Ed Vaizey, the digital economy minister, told the Telegraph’s Britain’s Smart Cities conference in October, “If we, and our children, and their children, are to live well and prosperously, we have to get cities right. Technology will not be the answer to everything, but it must be part of the answer.”

This article was posted on on 4th Jan 16, written by Madhumita Murgia – Telegraph head of technology. Amongst the many sharing possibilities provided by the newspaper, WordPress is unfortunately not listed.

From Amsterdam to Beijing: The Global Evolution of Bike Share | TheCityFix

Source: From Amsterdam to Beijing: The Global Evolution of Bike Share | TheCityFix  A great article, Despite being nearly 50 years old, bike share is only recently seeing widespread international growth. However, with better data and improved models, bike share’s future looks extremely bright… Sustainability is also about sharing. A good complement to my post about the Bicing System in Barcelona.

Barcelona ranked amongst top smart cities in the world, let´s celebrate and go bicing!

Yes, Barcelona is Ranked  as one of the top smart cities in the world , who would have bet a penny 30 years ago? Maybe not me, however I am proud of what has been done to achieve this number 1 position.

How does a city become “smart”? Simply by working on a project that merges urban planning, ecology, and information technology to ensure the benefits of technology reach every neighborhood and improve the lives of citizens.

Barcelona’s program is ambitious as it includes a series of strategic initiatives such as:

  • Smart Lighting
  • Smart Energy
  • Smart Water
  • Smart Transportation
  • Zero Emissions Mobility
  • Open Government

I am not going to detail all these initiatives as you can find all the information here. However I am still going to describe one pillar of the Smart Transportation plan :  the Bicing service.

I have been a big fan of the bicing service since it was launched in 2007, my statistics show more that I have used it 186 times since the beginning of this year, and spent 45 hours on a city bike.

8 years later. the city claims 95,581 registered users. An average of 50,000 bike trips are made every day, with each bike being used on average between 6 and 8 times. The 100 millionth journey was made on 4th May 2015… A real success!

From my point of view the Bicing service is the typical example to use if one needs to explain what does the Smart City concept means.  The city of Barcelona has successfully implemented a service that is a sustainable and economical form of transport, designed for citizens to travel short distances without consuming any energy. On top of that is it easy to use, maybe no so affordable though: You pay an annual fee, get a Bicing card, scan it at any of the 400 stations, check out a bike, then check it back in at the station closest to your destination. Most stations are located by other public transport stops or public parking. Last April the new Bicing app became available for users to check out real-time availability at stations, making it easier to plan a route if one station has unavailable bikes or parking spaces.

This is a wonderful world indeed. don’t you think? Well, what if…the bicing fleet management app or the centralized control systems would not operate the way it should or would be non-functioning? New technologies create new opportunities for cyber attackers and new challenges for cities as they must prevent attacks and guarantee the perennity of public services…. We`ll look into this in a next post.