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Entries in urbanization (2)

10:59AM

Big(ger) computing comes to urban management

Simple example in a premier US city (#2 by pop, if I remember correctly), Los Angeles, which is famous for its bad traffic:  LA now has all of its 4,500 traffic lights synchronized through a single software system.  That combined with sensors monitoring traffic means the city can now start manipulating the lights to improve traffic flow:

Now, the magnetic sensors in the road at every intersection send real-time updates about the traffic flow through fiber-optic cables t a bunker beneath downtown Los Angeles, where Edward Yu runs the network.  The computer system, which runs software the city itself develoed, analyzes the data and automatically makes second-by-second adjustments, adapting to changing conditions and using a trove of past data to predict where traffic could snarl, all without human involvement.

Wikistrat has run simulations recently that involved looking at the future of urbanization and there have been a lot of fascinating entries exploring how Big Data will revolutionize urban management.  This is a basic example but a crucial one, because few things can better scare off potential citizens than uncontrollable traffic problems - and yes, cities are always competing for talent.

12:01AM

Which is it, Economist? 6B more people in 30 years or 2B in 40?

Saw this ad and it jumped out at me?

6 billion more people in 30 years!

Nobody is predicting that level of growth anymore.  Virtually all the smart money says we're 6.7-8 now and we'll top out at roughly 9.2-3 around 2050, meaning we add 2.5B over 40 years.

Then I see the special report that the mag just puts out on ag:  it says we're almost 7B and we're going to add 2b more by 2050.

That, my friends, is one helluva delta.

True numbers on urbanization, though, say we go from about 1/2 urban now to more like 70% by 2050.  You can find all this on our "urbanization shift" page at Wikistrat.  You run those numbers and you get roughly 3B new urbanites by 2050, or 75m a year added, on average, for 40 years.