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Tam Ky, Vietnam
Tam Ky, Vietnam
Emily Liedel

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JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE·TRANSLATED INTELLIGENCE
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As our cities become increasingly high-tech and crowded, efforts to create denser housing and to flood cities with sensors and smart technology often clash with historical preservation. Chinese cities are notorious for their eagerness to raze historic neighborhoods and to replace them with high-rises, often at the expense of both livability and tourism. In Europe, city planners have generally worked to preserve historic city centers and other monuments, but as populations grow, even European cities won't escape the pressure to alter their landscapes to accommodate more people.


In addition to other smart city news, this week we’re looking at a radical proposal to make Paris greener and denser. Further south, we’ll consider a project to bring modern lighting to Spain’s 1,000-year-old pilgrimage route.


— Emily Liedel


TELECOMMUTING IN THE ANDES

Medellin’s mayor recently signed a partnership with the Colombian Ministers of Telecommunications and Labor to promote telecommuting in the city, El Tiempo reports (Spanish). The program’s goals: to make better use of the telecommunications network, to reduce poverty, to improve mobility throughout the city, and to create jobs and facilitate self-employment.

VERBATIM

“We have to change the culture throughout the country so that people can telecommute, and so that an employee isn’t valued by how long he or she is warming the seat, but by how productive he or she is,” said Diego Molano, Colombia Minister of Telecommunications, in reference to the possible challenges of promoting telecommuting.


WHY GEOSPATIAL DATA IS SO IMPORTANT

As our cities are stuffed ever fuller with geolocation technology, some cities are developing even more sophisticated ways to gather location-related data, Journal du Net reports (French). In Stockholm, for example, taxis are equipped with sensors that collect real-time data about how long it takes to get from one point to another. The data is also used to better understand how to manage traffic during rush hour.


SMART TRANSFORMATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA

As Latin American cities such as Lima, Medellin and Puebla try to convert their reigning chaos into smarter and more sustainable urban models, they often focus on programs that more developed countries might find basic, Expansión reports (Spanish). Puebla is inaugurating its model for sustainability in 2016 with a focus on social programs, in contrast to places such as Madrid and Barcelona. Instead of smart lighting systems, Puebla has built three new hospitals and remodeled 800 schools in the past four years, both contributing to a better standard of living for residents.


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Indigenous leaders protested on Wall Street to demand the $1.7 million promised by the United Nations during the last COP26, as world leaders are meeting in New York for the annual UN General Assembly.

Chloé Touchard, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Goedendag!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where world leaders start gathering in New York for the first in-person UN General Assembly since the pandemic, Iran faces growing protests after a young woman died following her arrest by the “morality police” for violating the hijab law and a group of scientists manage to estimate the total number of ants on Earth. Meanwhile, Jan Grossarth for German daily Die Welt unpacks the potential of “hempcrete,” i.e. bricks of hemp used as building material.

[*Dutch]

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