China Smart City Tech in Line with that of the U.S.


On the last day of May, I boarded a 13-hour flight to Beijing, not completely certain about what to expect over the next month. This was the beginning of my Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellowship. Over the next 28 days, I would travel to seven cities, meet with more than 100 people, and become fully immersed in a different culture.

Eisenhower Fellowships is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that brings together leaders through an international fellowship experience, creating a global network of people committed to working toward a peaceful world that is also prosperous and just. Each selected fellow has a primary focus area while abroad, and mine was to explore the ecosystem around smart cities and gov tech in China.

The Zhi-Xing Fellowship was a collaboration between Eisenhower Fellowships and the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), an organization that was pivotal to my on-the-ground support while in China. To get

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Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners to install high-brightness smart screens

According to the Lab’s press release, LG-MRI’s BoldVu pole-mounted, high-brightness screens, which are designed, engineered and fabricated in Alpharetta, “will share traffic-related updates, city announcements and other relevant information with Peachtree Corners’ residents and businesses. In addition, each platform is equipped with an environmental sensor board to detect and track environmental factors, such as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.” The sensor boards are already monitoring Peachtree Corners’ local microclimate and generating anonymized traffic data as part of a research project with the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“While budget is often a barrier to implementing smart city technology, BoldVu creates new opportunities for public-private partnerships where our displays can be funded through media partnerships or advertising,” said Eric Hornsby, vice president of sales, LG-MRI. “LG-MRI’s BoldVu displays provide a significant first step towards becoming a true smart city, and Curiosity Lab offers a unique environment for us to continue enhancing

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Digital Twin Technology Can Make Smart Cities Even Smarter

Imagine the potential benefits of having a nearly complete digital replica of a city — a virtual model of its roads, buildings and public spaces — combined with real-time information feeds from sensors and other data sources. Residents could visualize the impact of new construction before breaking ground. First responders could run computer simulations to prepare for potential emergency scenarios. And city planners could better analyze and respond to local energy and environmental changes.

The advancement of several technologies, including the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), has made it possible to create “digital twins,” or virtual replicas of objects, processes or places from the physical world. The concept of creating “twins” to serve as tools to improve decision-making has long been used in engineering. For example, NASA developed two identical space vehicles for its Apollo program to mirror the conditions in space on Earth

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Smart City megaprojects get a lot of hype. So why do so many turn out to be expensive disappointments?

A languishing brownfield site. A developer’s visions of castles in the sky. Corporate partnerships to build cutting-edge smart city infrastructure. And the promise of luring tech giants prepared to invest billions.

The hype could have easily described Sidewalk Labs’ now aborted Toronto venture, but this story actually played out near Boston, on a decommissioned airbase in Weymouth, about half an hour southwest of a city known for its Ivy League colleges and the booming tech industry spawned by MIT.

When LStar, a North Carolina developer, began building Union Point in the mid-2010s on that base, it looked a lot like many generic master-planned edge city projects. But a partnership LStar established with General Electric in 2017 promised much more: not just a fully wired community, but intelligent lighting (LED street lamps that can be remotely monitored), autonomous vehicles, green energy “micro-grids” and streets equipped with sensors that would gauge traffic,

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