Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich top index of world’s smartest cities

first_imgBris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said cities’ priorities in using technology varied widely.The Colombian city of Medellin – once notorious for its drug cartels but now a posterchild for smart planning – has seen crime drop after introducing free wifi, which made it easier for people to report crime, he said.Although many cities around the world have introduced car sharing schemes in a bid to cut congestion, Bris said Moscow had been particularly successful in persuading drivers to join them after introducing free parking for users.Experts say COVID-19 has accelerated a shift towards more inclusive, greener, smarter cities.Bris also predicted a growing trend towards smaller cities.”I think we’re moving to a world where we will be more dispersed. We will be safer if we live in smaller cities,” he added.He said the survey underscored that megacities often found it difficult to become smart.”Smaller cities have an advantage,” he added. “In the case of Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich, their size allows them to invest significantly in technology that reaches all citizens.”Although China is developing hundreds of smart cities equipped with sensors, cameras and other gadgets that can crunch data on everything from pollution to public health, they ranked relatively low in the index.Bris said this was because of their size but also because of concerns about data privacy and surveillance. Topics : The Smart City Index, now in its second year, surveyed more than 13,000 people in 109 cities, focusing on how they perceived the impact of technology in five areas: health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities and governance.Others in the top 10 included Auckland, Oslo, Copenhagen, Geneva, Taipei City, Amsterdam, New York, while Abuja, Nairobi and Lagos ranked bottom.The index, a collaboration with the Singapore University for Technology and Design, showed that many countries are developing smart secondary cities beyond their capitals.The Spanish city of Bilbao ranked higher than Madrid, while Britain’s second city Birmingham has risen up the index faster than London.center_img Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich are the world’s smartest cities, according to an index published on Thursday amid a growing debate on the future of urban design for a post-COVID era.From smart traffic cameras and car sharing apps to pollution monitoring and free wifi for all, cities around the world are racing to embrace technology, but researchers said the real test was whether citizens felt the benefits.”The world’s ‘smart’ cities don’t simply adopt new technology, they make sure it truly improves citizens’ lives,” said Arturo Bris of the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), which published the index.last_img read more

USC students react to wildfire outbreaks

first_imgA Los Angeles Fire Air Operations Firehawk helicopter combats the Woolsey fire near Malibu. (Photo from the  Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations Section Twitter)Sophomore Maya Tribbitt’s hometown Thousand Oaks, Calif., is facing crisis after crisis. On Thursday night, one day after a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill, Tribbitt heard about how the Woolsey fire was encroaching on her community. She called fellow USC student and Thousand Oaks resident Deeksha Marla to help cope with the back-to-back disasters.“We went to the same high school, and her house was in the direct line of fire when it started,” Tribbitt said. “It was really hard for us to grapple with [the events] and explain how we were doing to other students who aren’t from California or from our area.”The USC community has felt the effects of California’s raging wildfires since Thursday. California is the most represented state among the University’s undergraduate student population, according to USC Admission’s freshman student profiles. And some USC students hail from Thousand Oaks, a community about 40 miles north of South Los Angeles that is being threatened by the Woolsey fire. The Los Angeles Times reports that about 370 homes and businesses have been destroyed in the blaze, and around 57,000 structures are still at risk.Northern California is also battling the Camp fire, the deadliest in state history.“It’s really weird being away from home when something like this is happening because I haven’t talked in person with a single person from Thousand Oaks in the last week,” said Quinn Jones, a freshman majoring in arts, technology and the business of innovation. “I just felt like I really wanted to go home, so I could [be] surrounded by people that understand my problems.”Through social media, students like Jones whose families affected by the fire have been able to stay connected, but some say they feel alienated by their peers as they try to comprehend the past week’s events. Associate Vice Provost for Campus Support and Intervention Lynette Merriman sent an email to students with addresses in zip codes affected by the fires to offer emotional support services and crisis counselors on Friday. “We are concerned about the effect the recent wildfires in California have had on members of the USC community,” the email read. “This can be a traumatic time for students, and we wanted to let you know that we are concerned about your well-being and the safety of your families.”Tribbitt, who is majoring in international relations and journalism, said her family was forced to evacuate on Nov. 8 and that the condition of their home remains undetermined. “My family just recently was allowed to go back,” Tribbitt said. “They went back [Sunday] and the air quality was so bad that they went back to their hotel … but we don’t think there’s any actual fire damage [to our home]. But my friends’ houses have burned down completely.”Tribbitt’s father is a professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where classes have been canceled through Thanksgiving break because of the Woolsey Fire. Adam Omary, a freshman majoring in biophysics, said the fire reached a park near his Thousand Oaks home.As a Southern California native, Omary and his family have experienced fires and evacuations before. His family was updating him as they moved in with friends in Santa Barbara these last few days.“I knew they would be safe,” Omary said. “It’s nice knowing that I don’t have to be there to experience all of it because it’s pretty stressful, but it’s also weird sitting back and just watching and having to wonder what’s happening or where they are.” Interim President Wanda Austin sent an email to the USC community on Monday, encouraging affected students to reach out to USC Support and Advocacy, the Center for Work and Family Life, Trojans Care for Trojans or other counseling services.“The terribly destructive fires that have ravaged California this past week have directly and profoundly affected the USC community,” Austin wrote. “Some members of our community live in areas that have been evacuated, or have sustained tremendous damage, while many more have been feeling significant stress and worry about family members, loved ones, and friends who reside in these areas, and who now may be facing difficult recoveries.”Andrea Klick, Mia Speier and Sasha Urban contributed to this report.last_img read more

LA Lakers fall at Phoenix as Kobe Bryant sits out game

first_img“(D’Angelo) didn’t come out with the type of energy you need,” Scott said. “(Randle) got in early foul trouble and that messed him up.”Lakers second-year point guard Jordan Clarkson may have offered a team-leading 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting in 33 minutes. but that did little to offset Phoenix guard Brandon Knight, who recorded his first career triple-double with 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. Suns guard Eric Bledsoe also added 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting. So much for Scott saying beforehand he expected Clarkson and Russell “to accept the challenge” in defending the Suns’ backcourt. How does the Russell-Clarkson tandem mirror the Suns?“Trusting each other and being able to play off of each other,” Russell said. “It’s something we’re trying to figure out.”The Lakers (2-9) did not face a double-digit deficit until the Suns (5-4) scored seven unanswered points in one minute to open the fourth quarter. They took advantage of an unproven L.A. lineup featuring European import Marcelo Huertas, Lou Williams, Nick Young, rookie forward Larry Nance Jr and undersized center Brandon Bass. PHOENIX >> This could have marked another farewell road reception for Kobe Bryant, the Lakers star receiving applause from an opposing crowd that mostly spent his 20-year NBA career booing him. But with Bryant resting in Los Angeles after carrying a heavy workload the night before in a rare win, the Lakers hoped they could absorb his absence by expediting the young players’ development.Instead, the Lakers experienced every worst-case scenario in their 120-101 loss to the Suns on Tuesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena in what marked L.A.’s ninth consecutive loss here. “The whole game they played harder than we did,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “They were much more aggressive.” Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle remained mostly quiet. Russell posted only 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting, (eight of which came in garbage time), two rebounds and two assists. Randle had six points on 2-of-6 shooting, five rebounds and four fouls. Neither player made a field goal until midway through the third quarter. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Still, Scott zeroed in on the Lakers’ 17 turnovers and the Suns’ 18 offensive rebounds. He called it a “bunch of crap” that those miscues stemmed from fatigue in playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Instead, Scott said he will institute high school-style box-out drills.“We’re definitely having them this week,” Scott said. “I guarantee you.”Lakers center Roy Hibbert argued he “has to do a better job of boxing out,” after grabbing seven rebounds while wearing a mask to protect his injured nose. Both Hibbert and Randle supported Scott’s strategy.“It puts it into our conscience,” Randle said. “We can’t physically be getting beat on the offensive boards.”last_img read more