Gartner: Smart Cities Will Use 1.6 Billion Connected Things in 2016

TN Note: Smart Cities are enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT), where billions of interconnected nodes communicate with each other in autonomous fashion. The resulting neural network can then be manipulated and controlled with artificial intelligence software. The human subjects become objects within the larger system, caught in a labyrinth of regulations and constraints. Some see this as the purest form of scientific dictatorship.

There will be an estimated 1.6 billion connected things in use by “smart” cities in 2016, an increase of 39% from 2015, according to a new report from Gartner, Inc., an information technology research and advisory company based in Stamford, Conn.

Gartner defines a smart city as an urbanized area where multiple sectors cooperate to achieve sustainable outcomes through the analysis of contextual, real-time information shared among sector-specific information and operational technology systems.

“Smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of Internet of Things (IoT) until 2017, after which smart homes will take the lead with just over one billion connected things in 2018,” said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner, in a press release on Monday. Smart commercial buildings will lead with 518 million connected things in use in 2016.

Commercial real estate benefits greatly from IoT implementation, Gartner said, noting that IoT creates a unified view of facilities management, as well as advanced service operations through the collection of data and insights from a multitude of sensors. “Especially in large sites, such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports or seaports, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30%,” added Tratz-Ryan.

The business applications that are fueling the growth of IoT in commercial buildings are handled through building information management systems that drive operations management, especially around energy efficiency and user-centric service environments. In 2016, commercial security cameras and webcams as well as indoor LEDs will drive total growth, representing 24% of the IoT market for smart cities, according to the report, titled Forecast: Internet of Things — Endpoints and Associated Services, Worldwide, 2015.

IoT deployment in commercial buildings will continue to grow at a rapid pace over the next few years, and is on pace to reach just over one billion in 2018. “Incentives into the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate will fuel its development,” said Tratz-Ryan. She said that the United Kingdom’s building information modelling (BIM) mandate, for example, requires that all public sector construction commencing in 2016 complies with BIM (level 2). BIM utilizes data models coming from various information sources including IoT, which will be used by commercial real estate in the future.

Read full story here…

Strong Cities Network: Trilateral, CFR, Rothschild Connections

TN Note: This article appeared in New American

As I reported on October 6, the Strong Cities Network (SCN) is a program hatched by the Department of Justice wherein control of local law enforcement is handed over to a London-based think-tank called the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).

In Europe, ISD has gained a reputation for being committed to the identification and targeting of “far right extremists.” Now, four American cities — New York, Atlanta, Denver, and Minneapolis — have become part of the ISD’s Strong Cities Network.

As for the organization’s ties to the UN, consider Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s announcement at the UN, wherein she stated:

Connecting those localities to one another — as the Strong Cities Network is doing — is not only a powerful way to lift up our communities worldwide.  It also sends a message about who we are and what we aspire to be — as an alliance of nations and as a global community.

It’s not just any old alliance that is behind the ISD. A quick search of the group’s website reveals the identity of its Board of Trustees: a cadre of internationalists that is second to none.

Among the 14 board members is found Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, a member of the House of Lords, who currently acts as a non-executive director of global financier, NM Rothschild & Sons and represents the firm’s interest on the Trilateral Commission.

Guthrie also spoke at the 2011 meeting of the Bilderberg Group.

He’s not the only director of the ISD with an impressive internationalist resume. Consider the Insider bona fides of ISD board member Dr. Gary Samore.

As reported on the ISD website:

From 2006 to 2009, Dr. Samore was Vice President for Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York, where he held the Maurice R. Greenberg chair and directed the David Rockefeller Studies Programme. Before joining CFR, Dr. Samore was vice president for global security and sustainability at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, and from 2001 to 2005, he was Director of Studies and Senior Fellow for Non-Proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. At IISS, he produced three “strategic dossiers” on Iran (2005), North Korea (2004), and Iraq (2002), which are considered authoritative and exemplary assessments of nuclear, biological, chemical, and missile programmes in those countries.

Remember, there are now four major American metropolises that have handed over control of their law enforcement policy and practice to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, who in turn is controlled by a who’s who of top tier globalist, one-world government, CFR, Trilateral, Bilderberg, Rothschild power brokers.

Read the full story…


Flashback 2001: The Smart-Growth Scam

TN Note: Smart Growth is a mainstay of Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development, and has been implemented all over the United States. The risks of Smart Growth have been exposed for many years, but few have listened. This is an important look backward to see that critical arguments from 2001 are still valid today.

Transportation is essential to the daily life of nearly every American. Millions of people flock onto the freeways and streets to accomplish innumerable tasks each day. Americans love their cars. No other mode of transportation provides the same individualized choices, schedules, and overall convenience as the automobile.

Despite the obvious advantages of automotive transportation, politicians and environmentalists continue to praise mass transit. They cite all kinds of data aimed at denigrating automotive transportation while claiming that public transportation works better and is more efficient. However, even though billions of dollars have been spent on such systems, they continue to lose money and passengers. The most recent effort of the public-transit crowd is to push for the construction of light-rail systems in urban areas. These projects are terribly expensive and provide few benefits to the communities where they are built. As of 1998, annual spending on public transit was $4.6 billion, and that amount is expected to climb to $8.2 billion by 2002 under the terms of the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century.[1]

The focus on reducing automotive usage stems from environmental concerns. Environmentalists suggest that automobiles are just plain bad for the environment. In truth, the environmental agenda is larger than simply reducing automobile usage. “Smart growth” policies are intended to significantly change American lifestyles. Thus public transportation is just one piece of the puzzle that environmentalists aim to use to cure the ills that individual automotive use has created. However, the arguments for these projects are not supported by the data and do not follow from a cost-benefit analysis. In fact, public transportation does not work, nor will it work, no matter how much money is thrown at it. Without the continual influx of government funding, many of these public-transportation efforts would fail, and fail spectacularly.

The recent efforts to promote increased public transit stem from “new urbanism” policies also known as “smart growth.” Former Vice President Al Gore is among the many supporters of these plans. Free-market environmental writer Randal O’Toole summarized the details of smart growth by outlining what these modern-day social engineers believe will result from the implementation of their ideas. According to the proponents of smart growth, metropolitan areas should be denser. To accomplish this, legislation would be enacted to forbid new construction on land outside the main urban area, and transportation would be redirected away from individualized roadways towards mass-transit routes. The aim is to eliminate all means of private transportation except for walking and bike riding.

In essence, proponents seek to eliminate individual liberty. To accomplish this, the reformers want to prohibit investments in new roadway construction and to divert the revenues generated by gasoline taxes to public-transit projects, namely light rail. Any investments aimed at roadways would be used to reduce their capacity. Smart-growth activists refer to this destruction of roads as “traffic calming.” To be sure, the vehicles on the road would not be moving very fast, but we seriously doubt that the drivers would be calm.[2]

New residential developments would be transit-oriented and focus on high-density, multi-family complexes near rail stations or along transit corridors. These developments would be designed to make it difficult to use one’s automobile. In other words, they will have narrow streets and wide sidewalks. Stores would front the sidewalk and there would be few, if any, parking lots.[3] The clear aim of such projects is to force people to use the state-provided transportation services, thus limiting their mobility and freedom.

In support of their smart-growth agenda, environmental utopians argue that urban sprawl is to blame for many of society’s ills. These include increasing income inequality, job insecurity, central-city decline, increasing housing costs, long commutes, environmental problems (especially global warming), species extinction, loss of farmland, a sense of isolation, elevated blood pressure, muscle tension, intolerance, psychological disorientation, and even murder and mayhem.[4] Supposedly, smart growth is the medication needed to heal these illnesses. However, will such an agenda cure anything?

Falsified by the Data

The arguments for this agenda are inherently flawed and can readily be exposed as false when the data are examined. Wendell Cox argued convincingly that the so-called ills associated with urban sprawl would only be magnified by smart-growth policies. First, traffic congestion is greater in the compact city. “Urban areas with higher levels of traffic congestion, as measured by the federal government’s Roadway Congestion Index, have higher population densities.”[5]Since cars pollute more when stuck in traffic, more pollution will accompany higher-density cities. Forcing more people onto less road space will only slow traffic and increase air pollution.[6] This is borne out by the Environmental Protection Agency’s own data, which indicate that metropolitan air pollution is more extreme in the densest areas and nonexistent in those that are least dense.

Read full story here…

‘Ghost City’ To Be Built In New Mexico

TN Note: This is the ultimate testing laboratory for a Sustainable City, where new “sustainable” technologies will be installed and tested prior to rolling out to real cities. The project lead, Pegasus Global Holdings, partners with government entities and large global corporations around the world to provide state-of-the-art technology solutions.

A city capable of housing just under 40,000 residents is still on track to be developed west of Las Cruces. The oddity is that none of the potential 40,000 residents will ever move there .

Pegasus Global Holdings sill plans to move forward with construction on the ghost city which will encompass roughly 18 square miles of land that will straddle the Doña Ana County and Luna County line along Interstate 10, said Pegasus Managing Director Robert Brumley. The facilty, known as CITE — the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation — will stretch along a six-mile rectangle that roughly six miles north of I-10.

The project, with a potential $1 billion regional economic impact, has been in the works since 2011 and was put on hold in 2012 before being revived in 2014.

Brumley last week told the Sun-News permitting is ongoing, clients are being sought and, with any luck, construction on the 400- to 500-acre uninhabited city could begin late this year. The facility could be operational as early 2018.

Last year, CITE was idled pending approval of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, Brumley said. The monument’s boundaries were set in 2014. The next step for Pegasus is securing clients to test at the ghost city, which lies outside of the monument.

The full-scale city without residents will be used for scientific research, testing everything from innovative technology to building materials and renewable energy. It will be open to private companies to test products in real-life situations and on a scale larger and more realistic than can be replicated in laboratories. Last year, Brumley said the construction investment could run as high as $600 million.

CITE will include specialized zones for developing new forms of agriculture, energy and water treatment. An underground data collection network will provide detailed, real-time feedback. The project had been evaluated and locations from the Corralitos Ranch west of Las Cruces, to Hobbs, Albuquerque’s West Mesa, Gallup and Roswell were considered, before landing in Doña Ana and Luna counties, Brumley said.

Read full story here…

UN Strong Cities Network Launched September 29, 2015

TN Note: This is a brand new initiative at the United Nations involving cities, data sharing, new governance structures and more. As such, it should be watched carefully because it is likely to spread around the world like wildfire. Bold type is inserted below to highlight key features that might be alarming to those who study such things. The entire initiative is going to be run by an NGO called the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, or ISD.

From the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice

WASHINGTON – Cities are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.  Local communities and authorities are the most credible and persuasive voices to challenge violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts.  While many cities and local authorities are developing innovative responses to address this challenge, no systematic efforts are in place to share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.

“The Strong Cities Network will serve as a vital tool to strengthen capacity-building and improve collaboration,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “As we continue to counter a range of domestic and global terror threats, this innovative platform will enable cities to learn from one another, to develop best practices and to build social cohesion and community resilience here at home and around the world.”

The Strong Cities Network (SCN)  – which launches September 29th at the United Nations – will empower municipal bodies to fill this gap while working with civil society and safeguarding the rights of local citizens and communities.

See Strong Cities Network Web Site

The SCN will strengthen strategic planning and practices to address violent extremism in all its forms by fostering collaboration among cities, municipalities and other sub-national authorities.

“To counter violent extremism we need determined action at all levels of governance,” said Governing Mayor Stian Berger Røsland of Oslo while commenting on their participation in the SCN.  “To succeed, we must coordinate our efforts and cooperate across borders.  The Strong Cities Network will enable cities across the globe pool our resources, knowledge and best practices together and thus leave us standing stronger in the fight against one of the greatest threats to modern society.”

The SCN will connect cities, city-level practitioners and the communities they represent through a series of workshops, trainings and sustained city partnerships.  Network participants will also contribute to and benefit from an online repository of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules and will be eligible for grants supporting innovative, local initiatives and strategies that will contribute to building social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.

The SCN will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities and other sub-national entities from different regions that will provide the SCN with its strategic direction.  The SCN will also convene an International Advisory Board, which includes representatives from relevant city-focused networks, to help ensure SCN builds upon their work.  It will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading international “think-and-do” tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism:

“The SCN provides a unique new opportunity to apply our collective lessons in preventing violent extremism in support of local communities and authorities around the world”, said CEO Sasha Havlicek of ISD.  “We look forward to developing this international platform for joint innovation to impact this pressing challenge.”

“It is with great conviction that Montréal has agreed to join the Strong Cities Network founders,” said the Honorable Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal.  “This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montréal’s Mayors’ International Observatory on Living Together.  I am delighted that through the Strong Cities Network, the City of Montréal will more actively share information and best practices with a global network of leaders on critical issues facing our communities.”

The Strong Cities Network will launch on Sept. 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, following the LeadersSummit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism.  Welcoming remarks will be offered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who will also introduce a Keynote address by U.S. Attorney General Lynch.  Following this event, the Strong Cities International Steering Committee, consisting of approximately 25 mayors and other leaders from cities and other sub-national entities from around the globe, will hold its inaugural meeting on Sept. 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Agenda 21 for Cities: 300 Square foot Condos for $275,000

TN Note: Sustainable Development in urban centers calls for cramming people into 300-400 square foot apartments and condos. Not surprisingly, they are also incredibly expensive. A small condo obviously cramps one’s lifestyle, so their resulting carbon footprint is minimal.

As more millennials graduate into better paying jobs, marriage and parenthood, real estate developers are doing all they can to entice this renter-nation generation in home ownership.

That means making urban homes more affordable, which means making them smaller. The tiny house movement may still be something of a novelty on home-remodeling TV shows, but in downtown Washington, D.C., as in other major cities, the tiny condo movement is moving quickly into the mainstream.

“They definitely notice it’s smaller, so it is an explanation; it takes a little bit of an adjustment,” said Chris Ballard, principal at McWilliams/Ballard, a marketing firm. Ballard works with the Peterson Cos., the developer of Ontario 17, a new condominium building in D.C.’s young and vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood.

The condominium building, whose exterior is still getting finishing touches, is about 70 percent sold. While its penthouse units went the fastest, its tiny studios, barely bigger than 300 square feet, are getting serious millennial attention — especially with a price point of just $275,000, about half the neighborhood’s median price, according to Long and Foster Real Estate.

“Things are getting smaller, and people are starting to understand,” said Laina Lee, one of the sales managers at Ontario 17. “About 80 percent of all our buyers, including our studios and our one-bedrooms, have all been first-time homebuyers.”

Read full story here…

Smart Cities Could Signal The End of Democarcy

TN Note: This important story from The Guardian in the UK appeared in December, 2014, but is important to understand the risks of so-called “smart cities”.  The Smart City concept is pushed mostly by big engineering, technology and consulting organizations, such as Siemens, Honeywell, IBM, Accenture, etc.  Smart City investment is forecast to hit $2 trillion by 2020.

A woman drives to the outskirts of the city and steps directly on to a train; her electric car then drives itself off to park and recharge. A man has a heart attack in the street; the emergency services send a drone equipped with a defibrillator to arrive crucial minutes before an ambulance can. A family of flying maintenance robots lives atop an apartment block – able to autonomously repair cracks or leaks and clear leaves from the gutters.

Such utopian, urban visions help drive the “smart city” rhetoric that has, for the past decade or so, been promulgated most energetically by big technology, engineering and consulting companies. The movement is predicated on ubiquitous wireless broadband and the embedding of computerised sensors into the urban fabric, so that bike racks and lamp posts, CCTV and traffic lights, as well as geeky home appliances such as internet fridges and remote-controlled heating systems, become part of the so-called “internet of things” (the global market for which is now estimated at $1.7tn). Better living through biochemistry gives way to a dream of better living through data. You can even take an MSc in Smart Cities at University College, London.

Yet there are dystopian critiques, too, of what this smart city vision might mean for the ordinary citizen. The phrase itself has sparked a rhetorical battle between techno-utopianists and postmodern flâneurs: should the city be an optimised panopticon, or a melting pot of cultures and ideas?

nd what role will the citizen play? That of unpaid data-clerk, voluntarily contributing information to an urban database that is monetised by private companies? Is the city-dweller best visualised as a smoothly moving pixel, travelling to work, shops and home again, on a colourful 3D graphic display? Or is the citizen rightfully an unpredictable source of obstreperous demands and assertions of rights? “Why do smart cities offer only improvement?” asks the architect Rem Koolhaas. “Where is the possibility of transgression?”

The smart city concept arguably dates back at least as far as the invention of automated traffic lights, which were first deployed in 1922 in Houston, Texas. Leo Hollis, author of Cities Are Good For You, says the one unarguably positive achievement of smart city-style thinking in modern times is the train indicator boards on the London Underground. But in the last decade, thanks to the rise of ubiquitous internet connectivity and the miniaturisation of electronics in such now-common devices as RFID tags, the concept seems to have crystallised into an image of the city as a vast, efficient robot – a vision that originated, according toAdam Greenfield at LSE Cities, with giant technology companies such as IBM, Cisco and Software AG, all of whom hoped to profit from big municipal contracts.

“The notion of the smart city in its full contemporary form appears to have originated within these businesses,” Greenfield notes in his 2013 book Against the Smart City, “rather than with any party, group or individual recognised for their contributions to the theory or practice of urban planning.”

Read full story here…

Why the U.N. Created Sustainable Development Goals for Cities

The United Nations created the Sustainable Development Goals as a result of the 2030 Agenda conference. Cities (technates) are the grand dream of Technocrats where society can be truly ‘scientifically engineered.’ Unfortunately, nobody ask the city dwellers what they though about it.  TN Editor

The day-to-day running of cities is complicated business. Bootstrapped budgets, burdensome procurement processes, and a dearth of talent make it extremely difficult to execute effectively. Add to that an ever growing list of challenges — choked transportation systems too often coupled with a lack of affordable housing or accessible public spaces; inequality, injustice and climate change, whether or not city managers choose to address them. For those charged with finding solutions to these issues, a finger wagging about what your priorities should be can be pretty annoying. But that’s exactly what the Sustainable Development Goals do. And they are long overdue.

Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.” The adoption of this agenda marks the 70th birthday for the United Nations to be celebrated at the Sustainable Development Summit, which will be happening Sept. 25 -27 during the UN General Assembly in New York. (Join UN Habitat, Global Urban Futures Project within the New School, New America, and Next City on September 25, 2015 for a discussion of safer cities and sustainable development.)

The SDGs build on the 15-year horizon of the 21 anti-poverty targets established in 2000 by the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). What the SDGs aim to accomplish is to pick up where the MDGs left off, so not only eradicating poverty and creating equal opportunity for women and girls but also protecting the planet and setting the course for a resilient future. And unlike the MDGs, the 17 goals and 169 targets that make up the SDGs were not developed behind closed doors. Civic groups provided substantive input as well, helping to develop an agenda that ties policy to action and integrates solutions and approaches developed at the community level, not just in government offices.

Most importantly, as Javier Solana explains, the SDGs create more equal footing between developed and developing countries. While the SDGs certainly recognize global inequalities, they hold developed countries more accountable for practices and policies at home. In so doing, the SDGs also create a more inclusive framework for recognizing advancements in places where resources and financing are more constrained. I for one have long believed that city leaders in the United States could learn from, and build on, achievements demonstrated by their international peers, and not just Europe.

So what place does the United Nations, an international organization with limited oversight and authority, have to tell mayors and her or his staff what they should be doing in their cities and local communities? Turns out a lot.

The SDGs can help city managers make better decisions. They can also reduce the likelihood of investments today being only temporary fixes or worse, having to be undone because of poor planning and implementation at the outset. Take, for example, Goal 11 to make cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. With 95 percent of urban expansion over the next decades occurring in the developing world, the 10 targets of Goal 11 provide a blueprint for overcoming systemic challenges and for improving the livelihoods of all, not just those who can afford it.

Read entire story here…