Cities Can Become Smarter, By Going Circular
Digital disruption is transforming the way we envision our cities. As we embark on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we must challenge traditional ways of thinking about how we manage our cities and our resources. Do rubbish trucks need to stop at every bin every week? How can we stop leaks faster so that we don’t waste so much water? Do we still need to own our own cars?
Cities are under siege: despite crumbling infrastructure, they must accommodate thousands of new people each year who move in search of better jobs, services, and culture. Cities currently consume 60% of the world’s energy and generate 70% of greenhouse gas emissions and global waste. Demands on them continue to grow, while budgets continue to shrink. We can no longer afford – environmentally, politically or economically – to ignore the toll our consumption is having on the planet.
In the US, for instance, roughly 70% of car trips are under two miles. What if we didn’t use cars for such short journeys and walked, biked or used other public or private transport alternatives? If cities enabled alternatives (perhaps via technology), we could save an estimated $900 million in fuel costs, car maintenance, and tire replacement; reduce CO2 emissions by about 2 million metric tons; and take as many as 400,000 cars off the road each year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
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Public Safety is an important facet of smart planning. Today, we have the capability to create and adapt technology in a way that can not only provide us with tools for a safer response to emergency situations but also provide us with tools for smarter preparation.
Today, Mayor G.T. Bynum unveiled Resilient Tulsa, a new approach to address the city’s most pressing and interconnected challenges. The result of extensive consultation with stakeholders from across the city, and developed with financial and technical backing from 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), the Resilience Strategy puts forth a framework for creating an equitable city and center of opportunity for Tulsans new and old.
The World Bank estimates that $2 trillion will be spent annually over the next 15 years on urban infrastructure. The way to build stronger, more adaptable cities is to leverage those resources to produce multiple benefits, where a single intervention done right can address various challenges.
Have you ever heard about smart cities where traffic, public services and document circulation are fully automated? The smart city concept integrates big data and the internet of things (IoT) to optimize the efficiency of urban processes and services and connect to residents. One example of this innovation could be light sensors that save electricity and road surveillance costs.
Fishers, IN Mayor explains his approach to smart city innovation.
As research and testing of autonomous vehicles and smart mobility programs in the state ramp up, we could see driverless vehicles on the streets of Cincinnati, in coordination with the ongoing Smart Cincy initiative.
For a small, developing country, Costa Rica is really putting the world's powerhouses to shame with its commitment to clean energy.
A blockchain is a database that is shared across a network of computers. Once a record has been added to the chain it is very difficult to change. To ensure all the copies of the database are the same, the network makes constant checks. Blockchains have been used to underpin cyber-currencies like bitcoin, but many otherpossible uses are emerging.
Sustainability - social inclusion, community development, environmental protection, impact mitigation, and economic growth - must go hand in hand with 'smart' growth and development across cities and regions. Let us look at three key sectors where changes can be implemented today.