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The 10 most futuristic cities

Last updated on: March 11, 2014 13:49 IST

The 10 most futuristic cities

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Government around the world are using technologies to create ideal living conditions for residents.

Some cities have made enough progress that they can predict catastrophes and prepare before a natural calamity strikes.

Many governments are using real time traffic movement to divert traffic and ease congestion. And some have progressed enough that they can detect gun shots and even presence of biological weapons.

Let’s look at some such cities that are racing to be the model of future cities.

Source: BBC

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Boston

Country: USA

Technology brings down crime rate

The city has resorted to technology to make it a better place for residents. One such technology used is called ShotSpotter. This system detects gunshot and alerts the Boston Police Department.

Police say that the ShotSpotter technology has helped improve response time, identify hotspot areas, recover evidence and locate individuals in possession of guns.

It also has surveillance equipments that can track biological weapons.

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Image: The skyline of Boston.
Photographs: Brian Snyder/Reuters
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Boston

Community planning via 3-D games

The city uses IT to track greenhouse emissions and points out when the sewer system needs maintenance.

Boston also has a 3-D game called Community PlanIt that encourages people to contribute to community planning.

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Image: Participants leave the starting line at the annual Running with The Bridesmaids event in Boston.
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Dublin

Country: Ireland

Easing traffic without creating additional infrastructure

Dublin is the only city to have an IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre. This means the city gets benefit of all the research IBM does at its centre.

The company is currently researching on water, energy, transportation, city fabric, and marine environments.

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Image: A woman cycles past posters in central Dublin.
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Dublin

IBM has partnered with Dublin City Council and helps the government to study and analyse city traffic to ease congestion. This effort has helped the city’s public transport buses to be more efficient.

In fact, in one of the services offered, residents can log onto internet, find out about the traffic condition and get the best route to their destination.

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London

Country: UK

The government knows whether the city is happy or sad

The city of London already uses many smart technologies for public transport such as Oyster card - one payment mechanism that be used in Underground, trains and buses.

The Mayor of London has gone a step further and installed a wall of iPads (comprising of 12 devices) in his office. The iPad Wall displays real-time data on air quality, finance and the state of London’s transport systems.

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Image: A general view of the London Skyline.
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The 10 most futuristic cities

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London

Some of the information the ‘iPad wall’ relays include traffic congesion, delays in train services, and air pollution. It also gives out London-related topics trending on Twitter.

The catchiest feature is ‘Mappiness’, a services that shows how happy the city is.

Anyone who wishes to see the same data can visit the website www.citydashboard.org.

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Image: A girl band called the Tootsie Rollers sing on Ladies' Day, southwest of London.
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Amsterdam

Country: Netherlands

Mindblowing use of technology

Amsterdam is truly a city of the future. It has taken initiatives that can put best of the cities to shame.

It boast of free Wi-fi, strict norms for buildings and energy conservation, the city has teamed up with entrepreneurs and transformed a regular street into sustainable shopping destination where innovative technologies are tested.

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Image: A tram, backlit by a light sculpture titled '1.26' by Janet Echelman of the US, passes over Amstel river during the opening of Amsterdam Light Festival.
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Amsterdam

The government holds competition and encourage software developers to build apps pertaining to the city. For example, there are apps that encourage bicycling, eases selling of old furniture and one that promotes shopping at small shops.

The city is a leading example of putting Information Technology to the best use. If you want to know more, you can visit www.amsterdamsmartcity.com.

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Image: A woman celebrates the new Dutch King Willem-Alexander who succeeds his mother Queen Beatrix, in Amsterdam's Dam Square.
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Songdo

Country: South Korea

A model for smart cities

Songdo is built from scratch on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land along Incheon's waterfront.

The $35bn project, located on reclaimed land near the Yellow Sea, was widely considered to be a model for smart cities around the globe when it was started in 2005, according to Wikipedia.

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Image: A construction site of Songdo International City district.
Photographs: Ho New/Reuters

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Songdo

Also known as a ubiquitous city or U-city, Songdo's information systems are all linked to each other. It has led critics to dub it a "city in a box" - a showcase for technology but not necessarily ideal for people, states Wikipedia.

Every home has a telepresence system. It offers video conferencing, which is intended to deliver education, health care and government services. The system also allows users to remotely control heating and locks.

The project will be completed by 2015.

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Image: The Songdo International Business District in Incheon.
Photographs: Lee Jae Won/Reuters

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Rio de Janeiro

Country: Brazil

Controlling entire city from a single location

The city government has hired IBM to build a system that is presently unique to Rio de Janeiro. This system will practically run the entire city from one location. To achieve this, the tech giant has integrated data from 30 different agencies that run Rio de Janerio.

This operations’ centre will help the city to be better prepared when natural disasters occur. The system also has weather and flood forecasting program that predicts emergencies up to two days ahead of time.

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Image: The Botafogo neighborhood is seen with the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background in Rio de Janeiro.
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Rio de Janeiro

The city can now position police, fire and rescue teams close to where problems are likely to occur. In addition, authorities can pre-emptively close off streets to keep motorists and pedestrians out of harm’s way.

Sirens in communities alert people when there’s a danger of flooding or landslides. Also, people can register to have messages delivered to their mobile phones when danger looms.

Going forward, the system will make public health and transportation more efficient.

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Image: Drum Queen Cris Vianna of the Grande Rio samba school participates in the second night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro.
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Barcelona

Country: Spain

Everything at a click

Barcelona is working to merge urban planning, ecology, and information technology to ensure the benefits of technology reach all residents.

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Image: Gaudi's Sagrada Familia and Barcelona's skyline are seen against the backdrop of snow-covered Tibidabo mount after a snowstorm.
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Barcelona

Some of the outstanding works include controlling street level lighting remotely; Barcelona is well on its way to implement a programme that includes remote irrigation control for the City’s green spaces. So far, 77 fountains are controlled remotely.

To reduce pollution, Barcelona has started building a network of electric charging stations that will make it easy for people to recharge their electrical vehicles any where in the country.

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Image: MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi (R) rides the new roller coaster attraction "Furius Baco" at Port Aventura amusement park in Salou, near Barcelona.
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Johannesburg

Country: South Africa

Lightening fast

The city boost of super-fast fibre optic network; speedier than any other African country. It covers all pockets of the city with 1.2 terabyte speed.

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Image: Cityscape of Johannesburg in South Africa.
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Johannesburg

The city will further build systems keeping this network as the backbone.

The country also has plans to move into the next league by introducing smart metering for power and water.

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Masdar

Country: UAE

A role mode

The city, which is currently under-construction, will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, while conforming to a zero waste ecology policy.

It initially aimed to be a sustainable zero-carbon car-free city but the plan could not materialise due to certain limitations.

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Image: A model of an upcoming project.
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Masdar

MasdarCity will host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and will be a hub for cleantech companies.

The city is envisioned to cover 6 square kilometres and will be home to 45,000 to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses.

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Image: Former US President George W. Bush (R) talks to UAE'S Masdar Chief Executive Officer Sultan Al Jaber at the Masdar project exhibition at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
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Singapore

Country: Singapore

Leading the way

The city has collaborated with MIT SENSEable City Lab to find new ways of using the real-time data generated in the city. This data concerns traffic, weather, mobile network, and heat signatures.

The data is available to everyone and software developers can use it to make innovative apps that can help the residents.

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Image: A general view of Singapore's financial district from Merlion Park.
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Singapore

A person can look at the data and get to know the exact time to the destination. Singaporeans face difficulties in getting hold of a taxi when it rains. This system is analysing ways to divert more taxis to the areas that are receiving rainfall.


Image: A model lies on a bed in the infinity pool of the Skypark that tops the Marina Bay Sands hotel towers in Singapore.
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