LonRes, the London property market fee sharing and data firm, says the capital’s central prime sales market is turning a corner after over three years of dipping transactions and prices.The company’s latest market report shows that the number of sales in Prime central London increased by 3% during the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year.“Withdrawal rates are falling in central London and tentative signs are that prospective buyers and movers are beginning to get itchy feet again,” says Marcus Dixon, Head of Research at Lonres (pictured, left)He also says supply is increasing; the number of properties on the market across all areas of Prime London has risen compared with 2016.But LonRes Managing Director Anthony Payne (pictured, right) says London’s stucco-fronted prime property market still has a long way to go before it returns to the pre-Stamp Duty increases and pre-Brexit ‘normal’, and that many wealthy people looking to live in London are renting at the moment rather than buying.Anthony says a house that rents for £25,000 a week or £1.3 million a year in central London would cost £5,150,000 in Stamp Duty, twice that amount payable before the new duty rates were introduced, and that is why the central districts of the capital are so quiet for agents at the moment.Political shenanigans“Couple this with the political shenanigans that add to the difficulty in selling a house in this market and you can quickly see why revenue receipts are declining in London as uncertainty prevails,” he says.“The tax is such a burden that it makes sense to either rent or not move home at all.”But Lonres says the downward pressure on prices continues in central Prime London and, of the three key prime areas it examined, asking prices were 4.4% lower during the first six months of the year that in 2016, although achieved prices were only down 0.8% – suggesting vendors are being more realistic about what they can get.Read the full report. Marcus Dixon LonRes August 3, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Central London sales market turning a corner, claims LonRes previous nextHousing MarketCentral London sales market turning a corner, claims LonResData firm says sales transactions starting to show signs of recovery in prime central postcodes.Nigel Lewis3rd August 201702,578 Views
By John BurtonRED BANK – With the sudden death of an 18-year-old Red Bank Regional High School senior, the leader of a local community organization felt it was appropriate to honor the girl’s memory by way of a public vigil.Linda Clark, who founded the Count The Children Movement in the borough, organized the candlelight vigil for Sept. 14, in response to the death of Riyadhna Farrow.“We looked at it as something where we could come out and support the family and to let her friends share their love,” Clark said.According to Clark, the vigil brought about 200 people to Montgomery Terrace, where the student lived with her family.Capt. Darren McConnell, a Red Bank police spokesman, said Farrow’s death “appears to have been from natural causes,” but additional tests have been conducted. “I can tell you we ruled out any kind of foul play,” he said.“She deserved to be remembered for who she was,” said Clark, a lifelong resident.Among the roughly 200 who gathered at the Evergreen Public Housing development were fellow students, high school administration representatives, local clergy, Mayor Pasquale Menna and the six borough council members, according to Clark.Councilwoman Sharon Lee noted that similar events in the recent past have been set into motion by violent acts or to make a political statement, such as one held in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida.The gathering for Farrow wasn’t for a political reason and was attended by many fellow students. “It was grief,” she said. “It was sorrow over the loss of one of their peers.”Farrow, Lee said, was a good student, excelling in math and science, working part time at Foodtown, Broad Street.“She had focus and direction and a lot of young people don’t have that today,” Lee said. “She was a role model.”What also struck Lee was how the young people depended on each other for support. “They needed to come together and hug each other,” she said. “That’s one of the things I noticed, the prolonged hugs.“It was very comforting to the family to see so many young people come to her home and express their concern,” Lee said.The gathering provided a chance for an impromptu fundraising effort, to assist the family with funeral costs, collecting $1,150, Clark said.Farrow’s funeral service was held Tuesday evening, Sept. 18, at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 172 Shrewsbury Ave. She is survived by her parents, six brothers and four sisters.
By Jay Cook | RUMSON – Concerned East River Road residents and borough officials have reached common ground for the immediate redevelopment of Piping Rock Memorial Park after two months of back and forth.Rumson elected officials were looking to beef up the 4.3-acre park to include athletic space for new natural grass fields, but neighbors were afraid the park would lose its aura after plans to remove tennis courts and pedestrian flow were floated.That tug-of-war ended peacefully with the courts staying, new fields incorporated and Piping Rock Memorial Park keeping its community feel.“They worked overtime,” said East River Road resident Rob Thaler, who led a residents group to protect the park. “They found a way to fit everything they needed, in terms of the fields, and they soothed our concerns on the East River Road side.”“It’s a great feeling,” added Rumson Mayor Joseph K. Hemphill. “Truly, it took a lot of work, a lot of back and forth and really listening to the people. They objected so much to losing the front (along East River Road) so coming up with this plan was like a godsend to us.”The most visible change coming to Piping Rock Memorial Park is the installation of a 180-foot-by-360-foot multipurpose natural grass field for lacrosse, field hockey and soccer.A 40-foot-by-60-foot softball and baseball field will also be carved out with a newly designed bump out into the parking lot along Carton Street. Borough administrator Thomas Rogers estimated the field would have a center field depth of about 280 feet.To quell concerns from nearby homeowners and tennis players, the two tennis courts will remain.Rogers said “more of a grand entrance” will be designed along East River Road so visitors to Piping Rock Memorial Park will walk by the existing 9/11 memorial in place there. The playground associated with the Keith D. McHeffey memorial will be moved just west of the tennis courts with brand new jungle gym equipment. However, the Keith D. McHeffey 9/11 Memorial will be relocated behind the baseball/softball field backstop at the bump out into the Carton Street parking lot.A fully ADA-compliant walking path will stretch through the park with access to each amenity. Access will be to and from East River Road, Carton Street and Forrest Avenue.“It’s the same exact plan, we just shifted it around in order to preserve the tennis courts,” said Rogers.Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods mobilized after June 13 letters were sent out from the borough noticing homeowners about the impending project. Thaler and his neighbor, Christine Sibilia, helped organize a social media page called Save Piping Rock and communicated concerns to borough officials.“I do think that if we didn’t organize and voice our opposition to the plan, I think it would have been previously approved and continued without a hitch,” added Thaler Sibilia, a New York City native and East River Road resident, said her perseverance to finding a friendly solution came from childhood memories.“Piping Rock Memorial Park is my Central Park,” she said. “It’s certainly a conspicuous landmark to this town.”Rogers said the project’s funding will be consistent with prior approvals. The borough unanimously approved a $900,000 payment from the capital improvement fund to pay for the park renovations; construction costs are estimated to be around $750,000. Rumson has also acquired $387,000 in grants from Monmouth County to redesign the park. The county has since approved the most recent plans.Residents who frequent the park – which is surrounded by Ridge Road, Forrest Avenue, Carton Street and East River Road – may notice some significant soil stockpiles. Rogers said it was removed from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School as they undergo construction around the football field. The borough purchased that soil “for pennies on the dollar” and saved $50,000 from the project cost, Rogers said. It will be used to even out the new multipurpose field.A contract could be awarded at the Aug. 21 Borough Council meeting, set for a special time at 4:30 p.m. The idea is to have construction start before Labor Day.The park’s new setup is expected to accommodate the approximately 3,800 children in Rumson’s recreation program. Athletic tournaments and mass busing into and out of Piping Rock Memorial Park is not anticipated in the future.“Ideally, all the residents would have liked to keep Piping Rock Memorial Park the way it is, but something had to be done due to the recreation needs,” said Thaler. “With that said, this looks to be the best solution we could have hoped for.”This article first appeared in the August 16 – 23, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
Strategy played a big part for Jay Blackmore in winning the overall prize at the Nelson Cup Regatta this past weekend on Kootenay Lake near Nelson.Blackmore, sailing SJ30 “Makai”, edged out Carrie Fitzsimmon to claim the overall prize and the B-Fleet Division.Fitzsimmon was sailing the SJ28 “Joanna”.Third place was Roger Higgins on his J24 “Current Sea”. In the A Fleet category, Craig Berg sailing Rocket 22 “Wicked” nipped Jo Raeburn on J29 “Orbit and Rick Belfry sailing Antrim 27 “Line Drive” in third.Winds during Saturday ranged from three to 10 knots allowing for some stiff competition in all three divisions.Sunday, winds died down which challenged all the skippers.Winner of the Laser (dinghy) event held on Saturday at Lakeside Park was Ian Deane. In second place were Kaden and Kenneth Ellis while Kye Gyre took third.A total of 14 boats and about 60 sailors from the Kootenay and Okanagan regions took part during the weekend.Organizers of the would like to thanks some of the sponsors, including, Nelson Toyota, Hume Hotel, NBC, Hellman Canoes, West Kootenay Fire Safety, Captain Eric’s Boat Repair as well as many others.
Notable other big-money failuresBig money doesn’t guarantee big success, and Manchester United know that better than most. Angel Di Maria, Juan Sebastian Veron, Marouane Fellaini and Radamel Falcao’s have all been expensive flops, while the likes of Juan Mata are not exactly seen as a success. In contrast, the top performers of last season who were signed last summer – Kante, Dimitri Payet and others – were all bought n the cheap.Serie A not the league it used to be Is Paul Pogba worth the £100m world record fee? Paul Pogba to Manchester United is this year’s David De Gea to Real Madrid – the transfer saga that could last all summer… and maybe not even happen at all.Italian media reported that United saw their opening bid of £84m rejected and that Juventus wanted £100m plus £8m in add-ons.But is Pogba actually worth £100m? talkSPORT investigates the pros and cons…PROS:Premier League prices can’t be compared to the rest of EuropeAs a result of the £5.14bn Premier League television deal, English clubs can afford the transfer fees that no one else can, and the rest of Europe know it. If Real Madrid were to sign Pogba, they wouldn’t have to make him the world’s first £100m player as even they do not possess the kind of riches the Red Devils do now. A fee of £100m means a lot less to Manchester United than it does to the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Madrid and Barcelona.Pogba will be in familiar surroundingsPogba has lived in Manchester before and still returns to the city to visit friends and some of his favourite restaurants. Furthermore, he grew up with a lot of the players now in the first team squad such as Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard and would consequently take no time at all to settle, unlike an alternative who may be cheaper but unfamiliar with Manchester or the Premier League. Being the best player it Italy doesn’t have the same draw as it did when Kaka held the title. The league is a lot weaker now, with the exception of Juventus. The Premier League, however, proved last season why it is the most competitive league in the world and how much it has changed since Pogba left Manchester. Will he be able to seamlessly pick up where he left off? Does he have the stomach for the fight? Or would he rather play for a club that can coast through at least half of their fixtures. 4 4 4 4 United will make back much of the transfer feePogba is a very popular and marketable player across the world and United will be confident of using their own popularity to increase that. Should that happen, they will make back a lot of the money spent on him through sponsorship deals, shirt sales and other forms of marketing. If you compare that to the £30m Chelsea paid for N’Golo Kante, they are unlikely to earn much back through those same channels.CONS:World record transfers are normally goalscorersThe world record transfer fee for a player has been broken almost exclusively in moves for forwards. Only countryman Zinedine Zidane is anywhere near close to Pogba’s position on the pitch. Why is this a con? Because there is a reason why attackers go for the most and midfielders do not – they are the match winners and do the hardest, and most valued aspect of football, putting the ball in the net.
The curtain has been raised on Škoda’s flagship – the new Škoda Superb – which is arriving at DMG Motors in Donegal Town this October.The Superb was first launched back in Ireland in 2001 and has become one of the brand’s bestselling models with over 18,000 Superb vehicles currently on Irish roads. This is the third and most successful version that has been extensively revised both inside and out.The curtain is raised on ŠKODA’s flagship thenew ŠKODA SUPERBAvailable in a Combi (Estate) and Saloon (Lift back) versions, Škoda has slightly modified the exterior of the Superb and has carefully refined the front section. The redesigned front bumper means the car’s length has increased by 8 mm to 4,869 mm in the Škoda Superb, and by 6 mm to 4,862 mm in the Škoda Superb Combi. The typical Škoda grille now bears double slats, is larger and protrudes a little further down into the front bumper. From the entry-level version, the narrower headlights come with LED technology as standard for the dipped and high beam. At the rear, a horizontal chrome trim connects the full LED tail lights whilst the new ‘Škoda’ block lettering define the new Škoda design language.The curtain is raised on ŠKODA’s flagship thenew ŠKODA SUPERBThe Superb continues to set spaciousness benchmarks in the segment with 625 and 660 litres of luggage capacity in the Lift back and Combi respectively.The engine line-up features 1.5 TSI petrol units producing 150bhp, offered with 6 speed manual or 7 speed DSG automatic transmissions. The diesel offering includes a heavily revised 2.0 TDI 150bhp with new turbo charger and intercooler configuration combined with new crankshaft and injector arrangement. A 1.6 TDI 120bhp 7-speed DSG also features as well as a more powerful 2.0 TDI 190bhp unit with 4×4. The curtain is raised on ŠKODA’s flagship thenew ŠKODA SUPERBThe Superb update includes new technologies and an even more sophisticated interior. Full LED Matrix headlights are available for the first time in a Škoda production model and feature as standard on SportLine and L&K models. Several new assistance systems are also making their debut, such as Predictive Cruise Control.Škoda Ireland confirmed that only 3% of Superbs sold are the entry “Active” version with the majority of customers opting for more heavily specified models such as the Style, SportLine and L&K.The Superb SportLine in particular differentiates itself from its siblings using striking black features including a remodelled radiator grille and 18-inch alloy wheels – both of which come in black. The radiator grille frame and the trim between the full LED tail lights are also gloss black.The curtain is raised on ŠKODA’s flagship thenew ŠKODA SUPERBFull LED Matrix headlights and a sports chassis, which has been lowered by 10 mm, are included as standard. The black interior sets itself apart with sport seats featuring Alcantara®/leather materials.The top trim level, L&K, offers identical dimensions but the grille, side sills and rear bumper set themselves apart with new chrome details. It can also be identified by the ‘Laurin & Klement’ lettering on the front wings. Speaking at the launch of the new Škoda Superb; Ray Leddy, Head of Marketing & Product said “The Superb has been such an important model in our brand’s evolution in Ireland. The current and third incarnation of the Superb has been a contender for the number 1 position in the segment with the Superb overtaking many of the traditional bestsellers. Thanks to its reliability and excellent residual values the Superb has been a major success with business and fleet customers, with 23% of Superb sales being attributed to this channel. We see used imported premium German cars from 12-48 months as the Superb’s biggest competitor.”The curtain is raised on ŠKODA’s flagship thenew ŠKODA SUPERBThe Superb goes on sale from 12th October with 1.5 TSI, 150bhp Active prices from €30,750 and PCP finance available from 0% up to the 31st October.Call DMG Motors now on 074 9721396 to book your test drive and find out more about the Superb today. Visit: dmgskoda.ieNew Škoda Superb makes an entrance at DMG Motors Donegal was last modified: October 8th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:carsDMG MOTORSmotoringnew carsŠkoda Superb
Millions of people around the world willmark ‘Earth Hour’ by switching off their lights in a bid to highlight the need to conserve energy. (Image: Earth Hour) Khanyi MagubaneSouth Africa will be joining 1 189 cities and towns across the world to mark Earth Hour, when all participating households and businesses will switch off the lights for an hour on 28 March. Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are part of 39 cities and towns that will be celebrating Earth Hour in South Africa, which will start from 8:30pm and last until 9:30pm.Organised by the conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the event has already far exceeded the ambitious target of 1 000 cities in 25 time zones set out by the organisation.Morné Du Plessis, the Chief Executive Officer of WWF South Africa says he’s excited by South Africa’s involvement in the campaign,“There’s a palpable excitement about this event. Not just because it’s a massive global undertaking involving millions of people, but because it deals with a very important issue, namely the need for global action on climate change.”To mark this historic event, millions of people across the globe will gather in parks, streets, town squares and homes to watch the lights going out on iconic landmarks and city skyscrapers.Popular landmarks around the world such as Cape Town’s Table Mountain, Australia’s Sydney Opera House, the Wat Arun Buddhist temple in Bangkok, the Coliseum in Rome, Stockholm’s Royal Castle, London’s City Hall, New York’s Empire State Building, Sears Tower in Chicago and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco will all shut down for an hour.Influential companies have also jumped on the bandwagon and are now encouraging their clients to join in this campaign.Internet search engine Google will also switch off for on hour in solidarity with the campaign.Users of the blackberry mobile business phone have also been asked to turn off their phones for an hour.Fighting global warmingThe first Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2-million homes and businesses switched off their lights for a full 60 minutes.In 2008, the story of the event grew into a global one, when 50-million switched off their lights. This is the first time however, that that the campaign is now spread across the world in all continents.People of all ages, nationalities, race and background, will now have the ability to use something as simple as their light switch, to vote for saving the earth, instead of voting for global warming.It is hoped by WWF that every person who switches off their lights will be “vote earth” and each vote will be counted towards petition target of one billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year. At this meeting, official government policies to be used to take action against global warming will be determined. These will replace the Kyoto Protocol.To spread the message, a vigorous marketing campaign, mostly carried out by the media and through social networks such Facebook and Twitter, was carried out.Eskom going greenIn keeping in line with the global event, South Africa’s electricity utility Eskom has called all South Africans to participate in the worldwide climate change awareness programme.The parastatal says the national “switch off” event will form part of a tangible way of demonstrating solidarity and support for the Earth Hour global awareness campaign.“This will by far surpass the 2008 event, when people in 35 countries participated,” said Eskom corporate services Managing Director Steve Lennon in a statement released by the company.“As part of its support for the campaign, Eskom will be measuring the reduction of electricity used during the hour against typical consumption for this time on an average Saturday evening,” he said. According to Lennon, turning off the lights for an hour in South Africa, will benefit the country, as hundreds of tons of coal will be saved from burning to produce electricity.Lennon said that every kilowatt-hour of electricity saved amounts to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of one kilogram.In a bid to decrease its carbon footprint, the electricity utility has adopted a six-point climate change plan that commits it to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa.The plan will concentrate on using lower carbon-emitting technologies; adopting energy efficiency measures to reduce demand for electricity as well as greenhouse gases and other emissions.The plan will also adapt to the impacts of climate change; innovating changes through research, demonstration and development; investing in carbon credit market mechanisms, and making progress in climate change mechanisms through advocacy, partnerships and collaboration.“As South Africa’s primary supplier of electricity, we believe Earth Hour is an initiative we must support as it underlines our key role as a supplier of electricity and the active role that all South Africans can play in reducing demand for electricity,” Lennon concluded.South Africa joining the worldTo celebrate Earth Hour, a free “Concert in the Dark” will take place at the popular V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.The event will coincide with the Mother City’s iconic landmark, Table Mountain having its lights turned off for an hour.The concert, sponsored by Philips Lighting SA, will include boast a performance by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO), which will play for free, in support of Earth Hour.A marimba group Ethnic Rhythm will also supply music on that night.Speaking on its involvement in the campaign, CEO of the Cape Philharmonic Louis Heyneman said, “It is an honour for the CPO to make its contribution to a global initiative like Earth Hour, and to present the power of music in a different light.”The orchestra will play a repertoire including a number of light classics such as, Von Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture, Johan Strauss II’s Blue Danube Waltz, and Johannes Brahms’s Hungarian Waltz No 5.Do you have comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected] Related articlesGreenpeace takes on Africa Green lifestyle magazine for SA Climate park to cool off animals Power from the South African sun Green airline goes greener Useful linksEarth Hour –Earth Hour – South AfricaWWF – South AfricaCape Philharmonic Orchestra
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Growers who opt not to plant corn or soybeans this year because of consistently wet fields would be best off not leaving those fields bare, according to an expert at The Ohio State University.A bare field is a vulnerable field, subject to losing its valuable, nutrient-rich layer of topsoil because wind can blow the topsoil away and rain can wash it away, said Sarah Noggle, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).And a field without a crop is an open invitation for weeds to take over, making it harder to prevent weeds the next time a crop is planted there, Noggle said.Planting a cover crop such as oats, buckwheat, or cereal rye to have something on the field is a wise choice, she said. In addition to helping slow soil erosion, cover crops can improve soil health.Nationwide, more farmers are planting cover crops. The national cover crop acreage increased by 50% over the past five years, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.“Cover crops can be a good way to take advantage of an otherwise unfortunate situation,” Noggle said.This spring, many Ohio farmers are having to consider what to do with fields where they normally would have planted corn or soybeans. The wettest yearlong period in Ohio on record has left regions across the state consistently saturated, delaying or preventing growers from being able to plant in them.Farmers nationwide are facing obstacles to planting because nationwide rainfall totals have also topped records.Some Ohio farmers who typically plant corn, soybeans, or both could choose not to plant either and instead, file insurance claims so that they can gain some earnings rather than risk planting in mud.Up to one-third of Ohio’s acres that normally have soybeans or corn growing on them could be left unplanted, said Ben Brown, manager of CFAES’ Farm Management Program. Much of the unplanted acres will be in northwest Ohio, the region of the state that has been the hardest hit by rain this spring.Only 68% of Ohio’s corn crop and 46% of Ohio’s soybean crop had been planted as of June 17, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Typically by now, Ohio’s corn acres have been entirely planted and nearly all of the state’s soybean acres have been planted.“We want to plant. That’s what we do as farmers,” Brown said. “So it’s a ridiculously hard decision not to plant.”If a farmer decides not to plant corn or soybeans this season, he or she will be ineligible to receive federal aid through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). The program is aimed at helping offset farmers’ losses as a result of the recent overseas tariffs on U.S. goods, including corn and soybeans.But farmers who plant a crop such as soybeans as a cover crop and don’t harvest it might still be able to collect a minimal MFP payment, Brown said. However, there’s a stipulation: The soybean cover crop has to be grown on land that had been intended to grow corn.While there’s still time in the growing season to plant soybeans, how many acres will be planted in Ohio and across the Midwest is uncertain. Much of that hinges on the weather. Above-average rainfall is predicted for the rest of the month, and national predictions call for July and August to be wetter than normal across much of the country.To help select a cover crop, visit go.osu.edu/covertheland.
For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Tags:#Columbus#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#Smart Cities#smart city#top#USDOT Justin Bean With the amount of data available today, cities are constantly innovating, finding new ways to apply insights in ways that benefit citizens. This is no small task, as new technologies are constantly reshaping what’s possible when it comes to using and making sense of data.Data creates opportunities. Cities are rife with challenges that not only impact their own residents but society at large. IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are now poised to address some of the most pressing social challenges, like homelessness, transportation and public safety. See also: Is location intelligence the key to citizen-centric smart cities?As cities find new ways to analyze data and extract insights that help solve some of their most immediate challenges, they’re also creating promising assets for tackling issues beyond their borders. Whether it’s Copenhagen’s increase in smart technologies to reduce emissions or New York’s efforts to modernize its subway and ferry systems, cities and the organizations that work with them are tackling issues that have implications on citizens around the world. Locally accountable and locally empoweredCities are the source of 80% of our global gross domestic product, 70% of emissions, and consume 66% of our energy. Urban populations are expected to nearly double by the middle of the century, according to the United Nations. This makes cities critical in addressing today’s global economic, social, and environmental challenges. Cities have their own priorities and are able to explore solving their own challenges with smart technologies. When cities are empowered use such technology to solve local issues, and subsequently share their successes with other cities, we will have the capacity to address global challenges collectively. As we saw in 2006, with cities signing up for the Kyoto Protocol, and more recently, with cities supporting Paris Accord carbon reduction targets, local governments can act within their own districts but impact the world. City officials have connections to their constituents, local businesses, and organizations. When local officials are successful at addressing local needs, they are strongly supported, and even adored, by their citizens. This aligns interests between the community and its elected officials, and puts those local politicians in powerful positions; officials then have the ability to directly influence change. Cities are responsible for their residents and need to use all available tools and technologies to better the lives of their residents. Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco understood that homelessness in his city needed to be addressed in a substantial way, so he launched the Navigation Center to offer shelter to those without a home. The initiative includes a “joint database in which all the departments and organizations involved with it pool shelter guest information, giving case managers real-time access to integrated data.” By sharing data across multiple organizations, the city can now respond quickly to help city residents in need. Similarly, the smaller City of Moreno Valley, Calif. responded to citizens’ concern with crime in local parks. After the city implemented a state-of-the-art public safety system, citizens reported that they felt safe again, and are returning to the parks for barbecues and family gatherings. It takes a villageAs cities tackle a diverse set of issues, from energy efficiency to traffic blocks to homelessness, it’s critical that solutions and insights don’t stay in a bubble. Sharing both with other municipalities working on similar challenges will only improve the standard of living around the world. In recent years, cities have deployed a number of technologies to become smarter and to run more efficiently. Using sensors built into streetlights, for example, Barcelona is able to keep an eye on the amount of rainfall in a given area to ensure the sprinkler systems only run when needed. In Copenhagen, the driverless metro trains will soon respond to demand in real time thanks to IoT sensors in stations that analyze demand data for various rail services, helping the city to improve service while saving on energy and operational costs. These types of technologies are only some of the innovative solutions being adopted by smart cities today, enabling the gathering of an enormous amount of information. One of the most under-used sources of data available to cities today is video. Thanks to innovations in video analytics, this already abundant source of data can often be used to do everything, from analyzing traffic situations to automatically alerting the police and firefighters when there are public safety incidents that need attention.There is no shortage of data available to decision makers, but one of the challenges is actually determining how to filter through all the available data and use it in the most beneficial way. The more data shared across internal agencies and organizations, as well as with local businesses and non profits, the more room there will be for innovation to take place, and the more effective cities can be with the resources they have. Cities must learn from each other to avoid making similar mistakes that could hinder progress, and to effectively create the future they seek.In 2016, Columbus, Ohio was granted significant funding by the government after winning the Smart City Challenge, a contest held by the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve transportation systems states. Ohio has since become a case study for other regions interested in improving their mobility systems and instituting sustainable transportation.Smart cities can also help other cities that have not added significant IoT capabilities. Cities that are still learning how to adapt to emerging technologies will benefit from the best practices of cities that have already implemented them. This will allow a greater number of communities to work toward solving challenges that can have positive implications for society as a whole. Smart cities are learning how to become “smarter” every day. Working together, they are now poised to solve some of society’s greatest challenges. The more cities we have working toward the greater good, the more resilient and prosperous our increasingly global civilization will be as a whole.
Struggling to get a better composition? Here are five simple ways you can take your film or video project to the next level.If you’re like me, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a filmmaker is making something basic look cinematic. It’s a struggle I face on most shoots, but through trial and error, I’ve developed a few simple tricks that can make all my coverage look much better in only a few seconds.5 Simple Tips for Better Footage1. Walk around to find the best positionTry filming your subject from a different position. If you’re shooting with the sun, try shooting against it to create depth and atmosphere.2. Zoom-in for a shallow depth of fieldZoom your lens into a tighter focal length, then take a few steps back to compensate for the scaled in frame size. This will create a shallower depth of field. It puts extra focus on your subject, and create a nice soft background. 3. Lower your frame to change perspectivePosition your camera at eye level with your subject. I even like to lower my it so that the camera is against my chest or stomach. This changes the perspective and makes your shots more stable.4. Add subtle movementAdd motion to your footage — I like to apply a subtle move. This can be anything from slightly swaying the camera side-to-side to a smooth sweep around your subject.5. Shoot in slow-motionPut it in slow-motion! Capturing 60fps or more will give you some room to play around when editing. You can simply speed the footage back up if you are working in a 24 or 30fps timeline.