News round-up - November
Written by 30 November 2012on
World Cities Network rounds-up November's leading news from around the world. This month's summary includes the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the USA, flood-protection strategies in the UK and an infrastructure blockade in India.
Sandy provides impetus for US infrastructure change
Hurricane Sandy led to mass calls for action to bolster America's east coast cities' infrastructure. The disastrous consequences of the storms left much of New York city in darkness, subways flooded, businesses shut and a reported $38bn worth of damage was caused as a wall of water consumed the city. The restoration is ongoing but many voiced a need for a long-term resilience strategy. The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley, reportedly said “I expect that economic activity in our region was adversely affected in October and November, but will show a noticeable rebound starting in December,” due to reconstruction efforts stimulating local economies.
Japanese billionaire to invest $1.2bn in 'smart' properties internationally
Japanese developer Akira Mori is looking to invest $1.2bn in property with smart technology such as disaster-proofing and energy efficiency measures in Tokyo, London and New York. The 76-year-old billionaire said this would be the first time his company, Mori Trust would have invested in acquisition since Lehman Brothers went bust.
IBM wins contract to manage UK Ministry of Defence real estate
Software company IBM has won a contract with the operational arm of the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), to better manage its $36bn worth of real estate nationally. IBM's smarter buildings software and geospatial mapping provided by business partner Esri UK will be utilised to streamline processes, link systems and provide “a defence estate which meets military needs and supports DIO's Armed Forces”.
IKEA faces infrastructure blockade to expansion in India
Swedish furniture giant IKEA could be prevented from expanding in India due to infrastructure barriers, warn Indian retailers. As the firm plans to invest almost $2bn in the country, Anil Mathur, chief operating officer of Godrej Interio, reportedly predicted difficulties with slow development and infrastructure. D. K. Jairath, deputy managing director of Style Spa added that securing real estate in the suburbs of the cities, where IKEA typically sets up shop, would prove to be a challenge. “This kind of land tract will only be available on the city outskirts and IKEA will have to join hands with land parcel owners if it is keen to acquire such large land parcels for its use,” he told India's Hindu Business Line.
Philippines IT sector campaigns for smarter cities
The National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) launched its Smarter City/Countryside campaign during the National ICT Summit last week in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Tony Del Carmen, chair of LINK-IT, which co-hosted the summit, said developing smart cities would mean, ”not only providing the infrastructure but making sure that talent development is aligned to the needs of the industry, that local government incentives are provided, and that real estate developers in the area are also cognizant of that development so that accordingly they can develop their sub-sectors, that is, the commercial sectors.”
Wuhan plans to be one of China's first smart cities
Wuhan's information technology infrastructure is expected to complete by 2015, and the city will be a 'smart city' by 2020, its vice mayor Shao Weimin told the Smart City Expo Work Congress audience earlier this month. Wuhan is one of several Chinese cities pioneering technology designed to improve the lives of its citizens.