With the rise of smart cities and an increased focus on sustainability, companies have been tasked with finding solutions to lower carbon emissions in construction works, against a recurring issue of growing populations and limited building space. However, the creation of seamlessly connected cities will embed intelligent transport solutions within new and existing infrastructures, utilising renewable energy sources and driving long-term benefits.
- Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is undergoing an overhaul of its existing transportation systems, implementing an orthogonal bus network, introducing hybrid buses and implementing the city’s bike share program.
Smart sensors have been utilised within parking and waste management systems, where workers are alerted when bins need emptying, enabling them to plan their routes effectively. IoT has also been embedded within irrigation systems within natural parks, saving over $50 million. Smart technology is placed within the city’s lighting systems, reducing energy consumption. Inbuilt Wi-Fi has also been embedded, collecting essential data.
With regards to renewable energy sources, the city’s implementation of solar thermal ordinance has enforced all new and current builds to have solar panels installed as a compulsory measure, alongside the Energy Climate Change and Air Quality Plan 2011 – 2020, where solar water heaters have been placed within homes to heat water.
- Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver’s stunning landscapes and strong economy has cemented its consistent business growth and strive for innovation, at which the launch of the city’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan signifies the its plan to become one of the greenest in the world.
Behind a number of green building and sustainable building projects, there are over 300+ LEED certified projects underway, embedding sustainable materials and features, such as solar and hydropower.
The city is developing its local green spaces and sustainable transportation systems, installing electric and hybrid vehicles. The city is also home to the largest ‘Smart Bike’ sharing programme in Northern America, with the purchase of the Arbutus corridor. The city’s vision also incorporates the development and extension of the millennium line SkyTrain and existing bus routes.
Singapore is one of the frontrunners gaining smart city status through the implementation of its Smart Nation Program. The use of smart sensors embedded throughout the city record essential data, linking sustainability efforts within energy, electricity, water and waste management. The city’s Gardens by the Bay spectacle also highlights its efforts to utilise renewable energy sources.
Development within transportation networks has resulted in reduced delays on public transport. The number of drivers on the road will also reduce further through the release of an Electronic Road Pricing system which will charge users an increased fee to drive within peak hours. The development of cycling routes is also underway, such as the 150km Round Island Cycle Route (RIR), connecting the entire city with Gardens by the Bay.
- New York, USA
New York is home to a multitude of tech companies and is behind a number of smart projects. The city has adopted smart sensors and charger points with embedded wi-fi, which are located throughout the city. This technology has even been implanted in park benches, which will also utilise solar power and enable workers to analyse foot traffic around the city and manage waste collection.
The rise of IoT is also seen here, with the aim to reduce carbon emissions. The city has been piloting a Traffic Signal Priority project, which enables the identification of buses at a red light, and are able to reduce the waiting time for public transport and reduce delays for passengers on the move.
- Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s Smart City Strategy has placed a continual focus on digitisation, leading to an increase in green construction and sustainable initiatives in order to create a more efficient and clean city. Siemens is the main provider alerting drivers of potential congestion areas, in addition to installing a sensor parking system.
With networking and connectivity being at the forefront of all developments, Cisco has also been bought on board to develop the city’s cyber security and within the health industry, reducing waiting times and increasing efficiency with data received from clinical platforms.
- Taoyuan City, Taiwan
Home to Taiwan’s largest international airport, Taoyuan City’s strong focus on digitisation and key location has created a resilient economy, attracting a number of investors and rising businesses.
Adopting a Smart City project, the city has installed sensors and systems to monitor carbon emissions and light usage, in addition to utilising renewable resources, such as wind power and the use solar photovoltaic panels. Sustainable initiatives such as a shared-bike system, called YouBike, has also been implemented.
- Oslo, Norway
Oslo has long been at the forefront of utilising renewable energy sources, adopting sophisticated parking sensors and regular electric vehicle charging points. However, the city is aiming to eliminate all cars by 2019 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Oslo is also aiming to eliminate fossil fuels within public transport services by 2020, adopting purely renewable energy sources. The city’s pledge has extended to the installation of a waste-to-energy plant, which will warm up homes in the region.
In 2016, the European Commission awarded Amsterdam ‘Europe’s Capital of Innovation Award’, of which a €950,000 prize will drive the city’s smart city initiatives.
The city is a hotbed of smart technologies and businesses. The explosion of IoT is felt within Amsterdam, which has approximately 80 pilots reflecting the city’s focus on utilising renewable energy and developing transportation resources.
- Stockholm, Sweden
Awarded EU Green Capital status in 2010, Stockholm’s Vision 2030 highlights the city’s aim to develop a strong IT infrastructure, which currently attracts technology companies such as Microsoft.
The city is also aiming to reduce emissions and remove all toxic products from construction works, replacing them with alternatives which will prove advantageous in future building works.
- London, UK
London’s growing population has seen an increased strain on transportation infrastructures, creating rising emissions and demand for housing in the capital.
The Crossrail project and expansion of the London Underground will strengthen the city’s transportation networks, besides the implementation of smart technologies, which are currently being placed within London’s roads to support commuters in locating an available space within the city. Bike sharing systems have also been incorporated.
The city plans future sustainable initiatives, such as utilising the River Thames as a renewable energy source to heat homes, in addition to reducing carbon emissions through the installation of solar panels within new and current builds.