Ideas

Smart ideas for smarter cities

Is it any wonder that there are a lot of smart ideas for smart cities? That may be because a smart city is – by definition – an ideas city: a city built upon past or current ideas, as well as upon openness to future ideas: to future city ideas. Smart city ideas are often participatory: urban connectivity schemes like a better biking infrastructure or multi-directional elevators. And ideas for making the smart city smarter immediately become part of the public domain, texted to friends, discussed on social media, flash-mobbed by supporters, and analyzed at the neighborhood rooftop garden.

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Digitalization is changing the world we live in – and people living in fast-paced urban environments feel those changes first and most intimately. But it’s at specialist conferences, like Microsoft Inspire, where the next big innovations are truly seen in action for the first time ever.

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The time has come. The futuristic “maglev” technology of MULTI is now being tested at the state-of-the-art, 246m-tall elevator-testing tower in Rottweil, Germany. URBAN HUB is there, and discovers that MULTI’s next stop will be in a new skyscraper rising in Berlin.

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The future’s nearer than you think: we already have all the technology needed to construct residential and commercial buildings that generate at least as much energy as they consume – or more! URBAN HUB looks into “net-zero energy”, and visits several projects using this intriguing new concept.

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As urban populations grow, so do the number of mobility-impaired city dwellers – such as the elderly. URBAN HUB takes a look at how the urban infrastructure can be improved for greater mobility, including how technology is making in-home stair-lift installation less stressful for elderly urbanites.

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