Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The surveillance state in real-time: China and London

I do run stop signs and traffic lights on my bike, called the "Idaho Stop," when there isn't oncoming traffic.

Earlier in the week, the New York Times ran a story about the state of public surveillance technologies in China, "Looking through the eyes of China's surveillance state."

This photo shows an intersection with a digital screen displaying the names and identification numbers of people who were jaywalking.

Caption: A crosswalk in Xiangyang is monitored by cameras linked to facial recognition technology. An outdoor screen displays photos of jaywalkers alongside their names and national identification numbers. Credit: Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times.

This puts the capabilities of surveillance into perspective.

A couple years ago there was an interesting article in the New Yorker ("London's Super-Recognizer Police Force") about taking the utilization of CCTV feeds to a new level in terms of actively identifying and apprehending criminals, rather than merely rely on feeds for after-the-fact identification.

Such technologies and practices are likely to raise important and wrenching issues over privacy and civil rights.

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At 9:36 AM, Blogger Mari said...

London kids had embraced the hoodie, something not mentioned in the NYorker, because of the CCTV all over.
Our block has experienced some burglaries and there is not going to be much of an ID when your camera is too high and the thief is wearing a baseball cap. Or the thief steals the camera.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...


In takoma there've been a bunch of car break ins. A lot of it is spoofing or whatever you call getting the wireless access codes.

People then report the police tell them about the camera program.

But the cameras probably don't see out very well into the street, and especially the "street side" of cars.

I keep saying on the e-list that the response to car break ins is to get those "faraday boxes" and similar devices that make it difficult to clone access codes, not CCTV.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...



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