It’s 4 am…do you know what your city is doing?

Big-data analytics

Some cities tell you they’re awake all night based on the number of sirens you hear driving by in the wee hours, or by the lights left on in downtown office buildings. Here in Stockholm, the sun sets this time of year by 4pm, but the city doesn’t go to sleep. Lights go on, bicyclists ride by with lights and safety vests, road crews stay outside doing their jobs, and the shops are still open. By 10 pm however, things have started to slow down. The question is, can you tell by how much just by looking around you? Continue reading

For ‘cityzens’, marketing starts before they see the shop

Networked shopping

Running a coffee shop or a food stand that attracts customers during morning rush hour or during busy shopping times used to be about securing volumes and shop location. Marketing started as a way of creating brand awareness and used to happen when customers saw your shop and then decided to come in and make a purchase. That world is quickly changing however in the era of networked shopping. Continue reading

ICT is changing the way we live in cities

Sao Paulo traffic at night

Sunday nights are ‘pizza night’ in São Paulo. I leaned that on my very first trip to the Brazilian megacity. I also learned that Friday nights are ‘traffic night’. That is when the 24/7 traffic information radio station reports on traffic jams that are 200km long (they can actually reach up to 500km). Continue reading

Collaboration and the cloud will improve companies’ competitiveness

Cloud collaboration in cities

Business life in the city has developed around a strong service sector in a variety of enterprise segments. As the global market is reshaping the future of businesses in general, with advanced ecosystems and strong niche players, local city life will also change. So how does and will the cloud, collaboration and connectivity contribute toward creating competitive companies in cities? Continue reading

Cities and cars – a love affair or a marriage gone bad?

Cars in cities

In cities around the world, cars are a prominent feature. No more so than in the US where coming of age was quite often marked by the acquisition of the personal driver’s license. But could this be changing? It appears so. In 1978 nearly half of all 16-year-olds and around 75% of all 17-year-olds had licenses. By 2008 those numbers had dropped to 31% and 49% respectively. The long-term result of this trend will hopefully be a better city, a cleaner society and a more effective use of time by all. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading

When roaming the globe becomes as simple as being at home

Roaming and connectivity for tourists

Most cities are dependent on a healthy flow of tourists exploiting what the city has to offer. As we enter a city in a new country, most of the smartphone data tools we use at home move into “restricted use” mode. We switch off roaming to save money. We hope for a Wi-Fi spot at the hotel, and we turn off “location” to save battery power. This “phone-box-like connectivity” is no longer good enough. So what could make life a lot easier for tourists with widespread and affordable access in the city? Continue reading

Location-based services enable new ways to meet in the city

LBS and friends in the city

Before mobile phones, we agreed with friends on a time and a place in advance to meet up. With feature phones, we agreed on a time frame and a neighborhood and fine-tuned our plans with text messages. But how are personal meetings in the city changing with location services and LTE capabilities in smartphones? Continue reading

The philosophy of being connected

Philosophy of being connected

We call it the Networked Society. We’re talking about a new world where people and things are connected and where information is readily available when you need it, independent of time and place. A world of big data – with people sharing their thoughts as well as their data – and where sensors collect countless statistics. In this emerging tech-dependent world, I find it interesting to see a new philosophy spreading – the philosophy of being connected, and it is much larger than the technology itself. Continue reading

Connectivity will change city life forever

View from Empire State Building

The evolution of networks will play a central role in the development of urban society. A network that delivers from A to Z on expectations with regards to coverage, capacity and capabilities is vital for turning urban populations into ‘cityzens’ of the Networked Society. I would argue that the urban network is the single most important piece of infrastructure needed for economic growth in a city. This is the first in a series of posts that will touch upon the following subjects introduced here. Continue reading

The impacts of regulating cross-border data flows

Cross border data flows

ICT is a key source to improve productivity, expand market reach and to disseminate knowledge and enable innovation spillovers. It is also a key source of economic value creation. The significance of data in any ICT solution is irrefutable, like the blood stream in a human body– one cannot exist without the other. The pulse of the transformative force of ICT, shaping our society can be measured by the growth of traffic data in networks as well as the growth of stored data. Ultimately, these measures symbolize the pace of digitization of our societies, markets and trade-flows. Continue reading