How to Create a Sustainable Environment in Smart Cities

Discover how to create a sustainable environment in smart cities, and why that’s essential.

Urban planners and city councils in the UK have often looked to the smart city concept as a part of their master planning. There are various frameworks by which a smart city concept can revolutionise the urban environment. Firstly, there’s the technology framework which allows greater communications.

Then, there’s the human framework which encourages learning, creativity, skill acquisition and so on. Other frameworks involved include data management, energy control and institutional ones. They may be diverse areas of urban development but they all have a central characteristic in common for planners: they can be created sustainably.

Why create a sustainable environment in smart cities?

These days, inward investment into cities requires strategic thinking. This means taking a long-term approach from either public institutions or the private sector. Without sustainability being woven into the fabric of what a smart city is doing – whether it is harnessing smart technology or not – then it cannot meet long-term demand.

Remember that sustainability in this sense is not merely an ecological goal (although that is certainly part of it) but creating an urban eco-system which is fit to run now and in the future, capable of meeting and even improving on the demands of urban life for a long time to come. City authorities which don’t generate a sustainable environment when deploying smart cities technology are really not embracing the smart city concept in full.

How is a sustainable environment in smart cities achieved?

One of the key factors in smart city sustainability is the use of energy. The smart city will be connected to the wider network, of course, but it will also be able to take control of its electrical generation to meet peak demands, when necessary. This should be done in a sustainable way as possible, of course, perhaps by embracing renewable energy sources. Solar panels and wind turbines can, and have been, woven into the urban environment successfully before. What’s even more exciting is the use of modern battery technologies which can store this sustainably generated power to use when it might be needed.

You can also see the sustainable environment in smart cities being delivered right now in terms of transportation infrastructure. Driverless light railways are now commonplace in many cities around the world. Some are now at the forefront of harnessing even more complex technologies to bring us the driverless car – perhaps entirely powered by electrical supplies dotted around the city to provide pollution-free streets.

When it comes to waste management, smart cities have also relied on increasing automation to create less disruption as the essential service of rubbish collection is carried out. Now, many cities make use of their waterways to remove waste en masse rather than use diesel-powered lorries. Indeed, smart technology may allow city authorities to charge businesses and individuals for the amount of waste they generate, thereby promoting recycling initiatives and allowing for greater sustainability in terms of popular consumption.

What does the future hold for smart cities? Check out LamasaTech’s top three predictions for the future of smart cities.

At the human level of sustainability, the smart city of the future is likely to embrace digital signage solutions to provide greater levels of information for a city’s population. This might be seen now in terms of directing traffic around major disruptions, but the digital signage of the future is likely to be much more immersive for inhabitants, perhaps informing them of job opportunities, providing tailored content for the individual, offering promotions in other parts of the city and even guiding people from one point of the city to another.

The ability to alter signage to suit whatever purpose it needs to offer will make it instantly more sustainable than current wayfinding and municipal signage systems which can only offer lone pieces of information and in a single language.

Smart cities’ data networks can also make greater use of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide enough wireless bandwidth for all of its residents. AI has the capability of restructuring a digital network so that, for example, more bandwidth is offered in the city centre during the working week when demand is high while pushing more out to the suburbs on the evening and weekends. AI is likely to be used in sustainable cities in ways that have yet to be imagined.

LamasaTech is a leading supplier of innovative smart city solutions that can help to create a more sustainable environment. Why not contact us to find out more?

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