The concept of a ‘smart city’ looks set to become a reality with London pioneering the way.
London already has a global reputation as being one of the most high-tech cities on the planet but the British capital’s notoriety of being a world innovator in technology looks ready to be set in stone. According to reports, London is to become the planet’s £45 million test-bed for the latest hi-tech gizmos designed to improve city life.
After a string of hi-tech city ideas to be launched in London including a scheme known as Catalytic Clothing, which essentially features jeans that stop air pollution, the latest technologically avant-garde project making headway in London, designed to improve the life of all that reside and visit the capital, is a ‘Network of Sensors’ scheme that plans to warn of dangers and stave off emergencies in the city.
Researchers from the Imperial College London, University College London and chip-maker Intel, are working together to develop the potential of real-time information and social networks that ‘push the boundaries’ of how future cities will look and act.
We can all remember the horrific images of the London riots of 2011 with masked youths looting shops and setting fire to seemingly anything that stood in their way. In response to the riots that shocked the world, London Met Police have launched a smartphone app, bursting with images of London’s most wanted criminals.
The Facewatch phone app is designed to encourage Londoner’s to help fight crime in the city as it will enable Londoners to surf through thousands of CCTV images uploaded on to the app via a crowd-sourcing tool, and help London police identify the 5,000 suspected criminals in London, most of who are related to the riots of 2011.
Although the Facewatch app has not been met without criticism, namely because of its logo, which has been referred to as being a “slightly creepy Big Brother all-seeming eye.”
CCTV cameras are also criticised by many as creating a ‘Big Brother’ nation, with the Civil rights group, Big Brother Watch, accusing the UK of having an ‘out-of-control’ surveillance culture and that London is no safer despite all its CCTV cameras.
The Facewatch app takes the notion of CCTV surveillance a step further by encouraging everyday London citizens to view footage in order to identify the criminals.
Cycling has taken off in London, big time, and as the benefits of ditching the four wheels and an engine for two wheels are a pair of legs as a means of getting around the city are numerous, it’s hardly surprising that more and more Londoners and visitors alike are getting on their bikes and pushing the pedals!
As helmets are essential biking attire there is becoming a new trend emerging in London – helmet fashion! This new fashion focus is not just about the helmet but is also how you wear your hair – women particularly – and colour coordinating your cycling clobber. So if you want to be seen as being the ‘height of fashion’ as you zoom past those queues of motoring ‘suckers’ in London’s City Centre, then read on as we explore some top London cycling fashion tips!
Pin up your hair
If you have long hair and fail to pin it up when you are on your bike, by the time you get to work you work your hair will look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, particularly in this hot sticky weather.
Pinning your hair up under a helmet when cycling will also make you look more professional – total London cycling chic!
Blackfriars Station – London’s new landmark offers a new postcard perspective. From the iconic Big Ben, which when it was installed in the mid-19th century was the largest clock in the world, to the historic Tower of London on the north bank of the River Thames, of which construction was started by William the Conqueror in 1066, London has so many thrilling landmarks visitors simply don’t where to start on their quest to witness the capital’s most legendary sites.
In fact, so famous are London’s landmarks throughout the world that it is no wonder travelers from across the globe are desperate to be photographed in front of them when visiting the capital!
Whilst most of the city’s landmarks date back centuries and are an entrenched part of the city’s makeup, a new landmark does every now and again ‘sprout up’ in the capital, such as the famous ‘Gherkin’, a modern glass and steel design in the city’s financial district that was completed in 2004.
The newest landmark to be causing a quite a stir in the capital is Blackfriars Station.
London’s new landmark, Blackfriars Station stretches the width of the River Thames and has a new South Band entrance. The £550 million renovation of the station has been referred to as being an “impressive feat of engineering” and being the “most ambitious aspect of a London-wide upgrade of the Thameslink line”, which runs between Bedford and Brighton through the City.
‘Sport’ and ‘culture’ are two of the biggest topics circulating in London this summer. In fact you can hardly spend five minutes in the capital without being reminded about the city’s virtually unparalleled stance in being one of the world’s leading cities within the realms of sport and culture.
As part of London’s drive to maintain its pole position as being an advocator of sport and culture, the capital has launched a number of sports and cultural opportunities for young people in London that will give the younger generation more opportunities to benefit from sporting and cultural initiatives.
In an aim to get more young Londoners active, local London councils are combining the optimism harboured by the 2012 Games with the enthusiasm for sport in London and are generating an explosion of sporting activity across the capital.
According to London.Gov.UK, the government is using £15.5 million of the London Development Agency (LDA) Olympic Legacy funding to deliver more than £30 million into grass roots sports activity in 2012.