Essay über Google’s Smart City Aktivitäten

Harvard-Ökonom Edward Glaeser sagt Städte seien nur soziale Suchmaschinen, die dazu dienten, Menschen mit ähnlichen Interessen zusammenzubringen… :


Google enters the Smart City business

Finally! This should bring the most skeptical to think: Google enters the Smart City market.
For me, just another proof that Smart City is a space for a paradigm shift and not only a continuation of our existing business in cities.
It would not be the first time, that Google rolls up the (business-)field from behind and leaves established players back in pure astonishment. Well, as Einstein said, “Insanity is when you always do the same thing but expect different results.” It seems, as if a significant number of industry players tries to apply what they always did and then wonder why Smart City for them is not working …

Smart City Scenarios – Industry stepping into municipal authority (Part 2)

Would you want to live in Google-City? Or any other city created by a big corporation? Technically there are various corporations that could offer such a scenario. And already do! Think of PANASONIC with Fujisawa – “a smart town through the concerted efforts of local government, businesses, and residents”. Covering all the aspects of smart energy, -mobility, -security, -health a.s.o. people would put on their that’s-where-I-wanna-live-list.

Is Fujisawa thinkable for Europe? What is so much different form the stereotype new housing estates that keep growing in the outskirts of cities? And how big is the step from providing “external” infrastructure to “internal” structures and say?
Think of a city administration that is managed like a global corporation.
Of citizens that are data recorded like employees. Of city management organized in processes like corporations do. The “City” provides superior living and working conditions, attracts business and people and grows successfully. This scenario offers great scalability for technical solutions, as the successfull “Corporate”-City can easily be replicated in any other part of the nation. With growing globalization maybe even globally. If citizens travel they can rely on familiar infrastructure, the share of and access to systems is most convenient – like switching on your computer at home and being connected automatically. Police is a mixture of facility management and HR department – make sure they don’t sack you :-). The various restaurants in town are like a lushes canteene – you just pay with your name, the amount gets deducted with your local tax and if you have fish & chips 3 times a week your city’s physician sends an invite for a nutrition seminar. You really get cared!

But still – why does the thought give me goosebumps?

The remaining silos can be crossed and we finally manage to apply and transfer internet thinking for holistic solutions spanning various segments. It would be easy to set standards for infrastructure like mobility-, energy-, security-, health-, governance-models. If one corporation alone cannot cover all requirements strategic partners fill the portfolio gaps. These consortia ensure the cross-semgent interoperability for a frictionless, probably web-based management system.
Supply and disposal of the city is mainly centralized. Due to the lack of public control prices are rising. The rising costs for energy lead to a growing demand for energy management solutions. The risen costs of mobility lead to a decline in recreational-mobility, however mobility itself decreases, due to the new home-focus, encouraged by telepresence-solutions. IT security is quite important and centrally provided with the free Wifi. Also in real life urban space is covered with surveillance systems but still people feel uncomfortable due to the competitive atmosphere in town and lacking solidarity.

Ok, I admit, it might be a bit extreme. But therefore it is a scenario!
How far are we from such a scenario? Is it thinkable for Europe 2030?

Smart City Scenarios – spanning the frame of urban future (Part 1)

In order to be prepared for future challenges it is important to get an idea of how future can look like. Based on this idea appropriate strategies can be developed. In order to set up these strategies it is essential to identify future options that are comprised of past experience and future expectations. These future options, the various pictures of the future, are called scenarios.

Limiting the development of urban future into one direction only is not only dangerous but also mistaking the global socio-economic dependencies. The system city consists of various subsystems. The interaction of only a few determinants within a subsystem in the context of urban creation shows the impossibility of a linear, one-dimensional future projection in a complex urban and global setting.

Looking at energy for example: Will energy be generated in a central or decentralized manner? Will it be regenerative, fossil or nuclear? What forms of climate-political regulations will dominate? Will energy consumption be reduced or will it continue to grow? What arrangements in the urban context will e.g. European cities agree on? What is the role of digitalization and connectivity in the context of energy generation, -storage and –consumption? What is the impact on business models – we have seen first hypes die with the subvention of solar energy. In times of low investment rates on savings energy cooperatives seem to develop quite popular. How will the role of traditional stakeholders change? What is the future of traditional energy suppliers? Many cities hold shares in local energy supply. Will they take back over or completely leave the energy supply to third party? What is the role of the citizen? Will so called prosumers – people who not only consume energy, but also produce for their own use and sale – establish extensively? What is the role of IT driven companies like Google. Nest produces thermostats that learn the temperature preferences of its users. The company was bought out by Google in January 2013 for US$3.2 billion as a strategic move to gain access to the growing connected home market. [Forbes 2014/01/13]. Accessing the energy segment as a domain outside the core competency can also be seen with the growing market of e-mobility. On IAA 2013, the world’s leading automotive trade show, BMW launched their new ‘iSeries’. The electric-vehicle can be used as energy-buffer when integrated into the building’s smart grid. This way BMW has an interface to the energy network of an individual household and could diversify into the energy management of private homes or – thinking of fleet management – businesses.

Various stakeholders, e.g. governments, municipalities, technology providers and citizens will take various perspectives when responding to these questions. A similar variety applies for other subsystems or city segments, e.g. mobility or security and even excellerates with the interdependency of these subsystems.

Zukunftsforscher Lars Thomsen über Energie und Mobilität

Wer’s noch nicht kennt, 30 Minuten, die sich lohnen, um Ansichten zur Veränderung von Energie und Mobilität zu bekommen:

Zukunftsforscher Lars Thomsen über Energie und Mobilität:

Spricht über eFahrzeuge, die 2016 beim Händler so viel kosten wie Verbrenner; über “Frog’s Dilema” übertragen auf traditionelle Industrien; über die Aufbruchstimmung im IoT; über Tesla, Exxon, Google und Amazon; über Energie-Speicher und Regelung … 30 Minuten, die sich lohnen, um einen Einblick in die “epochale Umbruchzeit für Energie und Mobilität” zu bekommen.

Thomsen sagt, dass 2016 der Tippingpoint für Elektrofahrzeuge ggü. Verbrennern erreicht ist. Warum?
* eFzg haben weniger Teile als Verbrenner
* Wirkungsgrad / Energie-Effizienz sind besser
Problem heute: zu teuer für breite Masse
* Teuerstes Teil ist Batterie – hat heute aber schon einen Preisverfall von 14% p.a.
* Gleichzeitig werden die Lebenszyklen länger (vor 5 Jahren 800 Zyklen (auf-/abladen), heute 1.700 Zyklen, bald 5.000 Zyklen und 300.-400.000km Fahrleistung mit 1 Batterie)
* ToC wird ab 3Q2016 von eFzg. ggü Verbrenner günstiger sein und dann hebt der Markt ab
* Neue Player aus der Unterhaltungsindustrie werden den Markt aufrollen, weil relevante Komponenten nicht mehr Einspritzsystem, sondern Daten und Batterie sind, Rest / Karosserie wird zugekauft.
* Die fossile Ära geht in den nächsten 500-800 Wochen zu Ende (klingt dringlicher, wie „i.d. nächsten 10-15 Jahren“)
* Ein über 100 Jahre altes System (Verbrenner) das ca. 80% seiner Energie verschwendet, hat keine Zukunft mehr.