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LES ECHOS

Smart Cities International: French Mini City, New York Data, Siberian Comfort

Here is a preview of our exclusive newsletter to keep up-to-date and stay inspired by Smart City innovations from around the world.

Champs-sur-Marne's Sense City project
Champs-sur-Marne's Sense City project
Emily Liedel
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JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE·TRANSLATED INTELLIGENCE
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April 2, 2015


Hello City Folk!


Cities around the world struggle with the question of how to keep housing accessible for city residents while still encouraging economic development. In places like New York City, San Francisco or London, astronomically high housing prices can turn even the humblest abode into a luxury few can afford. Yet it would be a mistake to think this is a “First World problem.” In fact, the situation is often most acute in places that are urbanizing rapidly, like India and China.


This week, we’re taking a peek at some ways that China has attempted to keep housing accessible to all — and the criticism those efforts have received. We’ll also take a look at a mini city in France used to test smart city technology and a novel way that Kenya is bringing traffic offenders to justice.


— Emily Liedel

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BIG APPLE DATA

Two cameras — one standard and one infrared — take a photo of midtown Manhattan every 10 seconds. Those two cameras are the basis for New York University’s Urban Observatory, which started gathering data about how New Yorkers use their city in October 2014, Radio-Canada reports (French). The project has allowed researchers to discover, for example, that most New Yorkers go to sleep between 11 p.m. and midnight. They have also discovered pollution plumes and been able to see how much heat is escaping from buildings. The project’s most recent goal has been to collect data on how people use the city’s parks.

ELECTRIC BIKE RENTALS

Bike sharing systems have popped up around the world — but what about people who don’t like to pedal? That won’t be a problem for residents of Santa Cruz of Tenerife, the largest city on Spain’s Canary Islands. The city has announced a project to install an electric bike-sharing system by the end of this year, La Opinion reports (Spanish). Authorities in Santa Cruz are moving towards making their city smarter and are focusing on mobility first. In addition to the electric bikes program, the city is modernizing and expanding its bus system.

MINI CITY EXPERIMENTS

Sense-City, located in Champs-sur-Marne outside of Paris, might be the city of the future — but good luck getting a flat there. In fact the "city" totals only 250 square meters, a space to conduct smart-city related experiments, and is equipped with sensors to detect everything from temperature and humidity to vehicles and pollution,Les Echosreports (French). Some of the sensors are nano-sized and embedded into the "city’s" concrete, to allow for very specific data collection.

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Geopolitics

The West Must Face Reality: Iran's Nuclear Program Can't Be Stopped

The West is insisting on reviving a nuclear pact with Iran. However, this will only postpone the inevitable moment when the regime declares it has a nuclear bomb. The only solution is regime change.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have lasted for 16 months but some crucial sticking points remain.

Hamed Mohammadi

-OpEd-

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear inspectorate, declared on Sept. 7 that Iran already had more than enough uranium for an atomic bomb. He said the IAEA could no longer confirm that the Islamic Republic has a strictly peaceful nuclear program as it has always claimed because the agency could not properly inspect sites inside Iran.

The Islamic Republic may have shown flexibility in some of its demands in the talks to renew the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers, a preliminary framework reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., the U.K., China, Russia, France and Germany). For example, it no longer insists that the West delist its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. But it has kept its crucial promise that unless Western powers lift all economic sanctions, the regime will boost its uranium reserves and their level of enrichment, as well as restrict the IAEA's access to installations.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have been going on for 16 months. European diplomacy has resolved most differences between the sides, but some crucial sticking points remain.

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