Urban Tech

Pop-Up City on Printable Solar Cells for the Masses

We usually think of solar power in terms of large, clunky, expensive panels that require expert installation. But what if solar cells were tiny and could be manufactured with a special printer? Could that make solar power accessible to the masses? The Pop-Up City reports that researchers in Australia are making progress on wafer-thin, cheap photovoltaic cells…

Atlantic Cities: NYC May Transform Payphones into EV Chargers

According to The Atlantic Cities, New York City is exploring a cutting-edge use for the decrepid payphone booths that remain on street corners: transform them into quick-charging stations for electric vehicles. The idea was one of several to emerge from a contest that NYC held to find new uses for payphones that succumbed to smart phones. Eric…

‘Internet of Things’ Could Revolutionize Urban Design

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The Internet of Things is not just about turning off the oven remotely after you’ve left home, or setting your fridge to automatically order milk when the carton is near empty. According to National Geographic, this coming technology wave has vast implications for cities: “In a push toward adoption of this technology, Songdo in South Korea aims to become…

New York Announces $30 Mil. Hub for Smart Cities Technology

As more cities and towns pursue smart-growth strategies, New York state is positioning itself to become a leader in urban innovation. A $30 million hub for research, education and training about smart cities technology is planned for a historic building in downtown Albany, New York’s capital. The announcement comes amid fresh predictions that the global marketplace for smart cities could…

‘Air Quality Egg’ Measures Urban Air Pollution

The idea was hatched during gatherings of the Internet of Things Meetup in New York City and Amsterdam. The Air Quality Egg is a sensor system that measures urban air pollution outside homes. According to its creators, it’s inexpensive, easy to use, and allows communities and neighborhoods to collect their own data on NO2 and…

Dutch Firm First to ‘Print’ a House

According to Dezeen magazine, a London-based architecture and design blog, Amsterdam’s DUS Architects is racing to erect the first 3D printed house, to be located along a canal in the Dutch city. Here’s an excerpt from the magazine: “The design team will use a gigantic printer called the KamerMaker to print a canal house right on-site. DUS plans…

The Dawn of Intelligent Lighting

Lighting accounts for 19 percent of all energy usage, and the cities those bulbs illuminate are responsible for 70 percent of the world’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent report from Philips and Cisco. A promising way to reduce wasteful energy output from lights, they say, is “intelligent lighting.”