Last December, before the Coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese city of Wuhan signed an agreement with the communications giant Huawei to install infrastructure to enhance its security and information services and convert it into a standard ‘smart city’. The agreement also incorporates mechanisms for swift emergency responses, which would have helped it in containing the city’s epidemic of COVID-19.
Data on public emergencies can also be shared with adjacent cities or countries. Models for managing crises associated with disease transmission, wildfire, air pollution, flooding or sewage discharge, for example, could be embedded in the city ecosystems in advance so that they can be controlled more effectively.
But “Bubbling up are some core questions about what we’ve been told is desirable urbanization versus what makes sense from an infectious disease perspective.” From CityLab
This pandemic will shape our global vision of intelligent cities and where we live. Big investments in healthcare, artificial intelligence, and even surveillance could help curb future pandemics and cushion some institutional weaknesses in big cities.
More than 500 standard smart cities are already being built across China, equipped with sensors, cameras, and other tech that can crunch data on everything from traffic and pollution, to public health and security. Until now the push has focused on automating political surveillance, but there’s a public good if the tech can be re-deployed to detect unusual numbers of feverish people in train stations, for example, while simultaneously cross-referencing healthcare history, travel records and weather patterns. After Wuhan, the pressure to deliver health security, not just political security, will be higher.
A trifecta is emerging in desirable rural communitiesJean-Marc La Flamme
In rural communities human density and spread of disease is limited. In most, due to lack of traffic and access to outdoor activity, stress and anxiety is lower and health and well being higher. With gigabit wireless connectivity everywhere via Starlink and others technologies, autonomous vehicles, and sustainable living = affordable modular housing, vertical greenhouse farms, shared electric transportation, this presents a trifecta in way of life in the rural world. We can work on anything, communicate with everyone, travel easily to anywhere and live affordably and healthy with new technologies that are not hindered by old infrastructure.
If you are interested in learning about emerging rural smart villages we are working on or have one that needs the strategy to capitalize… reach out to us!