Can you imagine a smart sustainable city for tomorrow? The cities of the future are more than just about autonomous electric cars, smart sensors, solar panels on your roof. A smart sustainable city deploys technology and innovation to improve the quality of life for its inhabitants. While at the same time, the city also ensures the optimum utilization of its natural resources.
Building a smart sustainable city is no easy task - but if we want to live in such cities in the future, we need to take action and make cities sustainable in terms of the resource consumption and waste generation by the city.
The strategy to build a smart sustainable city
Interconnecting citizens, technologies, and the existing infrastructure will pave the way for countries to achieve financial gains, social inclusiveness, and most importantly, ecological stability. Building a smart sustainable city that makes all of this possible requires a robust strategy for:
Smart waste management - To better manage waste disposal, there needs to be a strategy which introduces transparency and accountability in the utilization of resources. This calls for an infrastructure that can track a product right from its creation to its waste conversion. Smart sustainable cities would have complete knowledge of how much waste is generated and from where. Inconsiderate generation of trash can be tracked this way.
Educational programs that generate awareness on how to alter raw materials usage patterns, lessen thoughtless littering, and reuse products must be run for the residents. Furthermore, the government should create a compelling regulatory framework to change the domestic waste generation and disposal patterns.
Natural resource management - A smart city should be able to utilize the natural resources around it. In the United States, 63% of electricity generation comes from fossil fuels. A smart city should be reliant on generating power for sustainable sources. For example, many cities in Sweden burn trash to produce electricity, so much so that the country imports 800,000 tons of trash annually.
Smart cities of tomorrow will find innovative ways to use the natural resources around to meet their needs without creating new waste and lowering their carbon footprint.
Healthy living conditions - Smart but simple sustainable practices can help countries meet citizens’ growing lifestyle demands while not disturbing the ecological balance. In a smart sustainable city, healthy living conditions will not be supplied, they’ll be created by the inhabitants themselves. Green covers and vertical farming in and around our future homes will create a healthy environment for us and our loved ones. Citizens have got to play a more proactive role when building a smart sustainable city. Make the right use of, for instance, terraces in apartments and put it to alternative uses like urban farming.
For example, So Cal urban farms in San Diego, California, and TowerGarden are an innovative way of combining farms in urban areas and giving people control of choosing what they eat. Fresh food, good air, and no chemicals around will have a positive impact on the health of the environment and the city dwellers both. Reduced pollution levels are known to have a positive bearing on the mental and physical health of humans.
Incorporating sustainable elements in a smart city is essential for the well-being of its people and the ecosystem as a whole. The amalgamation of innovative yet simple sustainable practices and smart technologies will go a long way in resource optimization while paying heed to the creation of inclusive, smart, and green infrastructure for a better future.