Capstak's Weekly Wrap Up | March 3

by Capstak

1) Smart cities must be people-centered, equitable cities | TechCrunch


The National League of Cities recently released their report, “Trends in Smart City Development.” The report analyzes smart-city growth and presents best practices. The end users of the “smart city” likely won’t notice these changes, but will eventually see the benefits of these changes. The article paints an interesting look at the future saying, “Autonomous vehicles on our roadways and the data they provide could create environments where traffic lights become obsolete, and traffic itself becomes a thing of the past. Cities can once again be for people rather than cars, as different modes of transportation work in tandem and communicate with each another.”

2) How technology is drastically changing the workplace: An investor’s angle | JLL


JLL’s Capital Markets Research team studied the effects of technology on the commercial real estate market in Asia Pacific. “New smart buildings in Shanghai and Singapore already fetch the highest rents in their respective cities,” Said Myles Huang of JLL’s team in Asia Pacific team. Along with favoring smart buildings, the JLL report shows that capital moves towards cities with the best connectivity. So not only are smart cities going to be changing our day to day lives, they are going to be impacting investment and portfolio analysis and the potential of redevelopment.


3) The Amazon S3 Outage Is What Happens When One Site Hosts Too Much of the Internet | Wired


On Wednesday, unless you were camping, without your phone, on a deserted island, you definitely heard about and probably experienced trouble with Amazon’s cloud storage service. Wired summed up the issue nicely saying, “So many sites and apps are down that it feels almost like the internet itself is malfunctioning.” Our CTO Ben Lucchesi reminded me that this sort of thing used to happen at least once a month when companies were handling their own hosting. The S3 storage service alone hosts about 1.6 times more data than its major competitors combined, so when Amazon runs into the occasional issue we’re all going to see the effects.  

4) Six Trends Driving Changes in U.S. Retail | Urban Land


Americans spent $122.9 billion on ecommerce sales in November and December 2016 a 12.6 percent increase over 2015. At that same time, we saw retailers like Sport Chalet, Sports Authority, Macy’s and Kmart/Sears announce store closings. ULI points out that there has been increased vacancy, but some of the retail inventory is being adapted or redeveloped to other uses. The expanding sectors adapting to these spaces are dining, food stores and gyms/specialty fitness facilities.

5) Consumer confidence hits 15-year high | MarketWatch

MarketWatch offered a pragmatic option on US consumer confidence this week. While the survey of consumer confidence rose to 114.8 last month, MarketWatch pointed out that, “The rise in confidence, however, offers no bet the economy will perform up to the heightened expectations of consumers. The correlation between the two is iffy at best, economists point out.” Stephen Stanley, chief economist of Amherst Pierpont Securities did end the piece on a relative high note saying, “Optimism is better than pessimism for sure, but I would not want to leave the impression that the sky-high confidence readings are a guarantee of anything.”


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