Across the country, cities are becoming smarter. Connected city initiatives such as those in Bristol, England and Chattanooga, Tennessee are leveraging the power of modern digital technologies to transform the way they operate, including a notable shift towards sustainability. Here are the five key ways the emergence of the sustainable connected city:
1. Data-driven, eco-friendly improvements.
Cities are beginning to leverage big data to drive effective change. For example, when installing a green subway system or railway, cities can turn to smart data to reduce vibrations and noise, monitor resource consumption, and minimize costs. They can also predict how any changes will impact air and water quality, crime, commute times, and other effects that used to be unforeseen before the rise of big data.
2. Streamlined transportation and reduced fuel emissions.
One of the most discussed benefits of a connected city is its ability to monitor and streamline traffic. With a GPS system connected to the urban network, citizens are automatically updated with traffic information and directed to less congested routes. This improves sustainability by cutting down on emission ratings, minimizing the risk for accidents, reducing fuel consumption and saving money.
3. Smarter water consumption.
Connected cities have the power to protect our finite water supply. They can be outfitted to constantly measure water levels, consumption, and weather patterns. This data can then be leveraged to change the way we consume water – preventing waste, predicting usage needs, and ensuring that our supply is around for many years to come.
4. Reduced energy usage.
A connected city will build energy efficient buildings that utilize renewable energy, smart lighting systems and more to reduce carbon emissions.That combined with efforts that prevent waste and curb consumption can help increase the sustainability of cities.
5. More green space.
For a connected city to succeed, it requires detailed urban planning. This presents the opportunity to build more parks and green spaces into the framework. These open areas can be designed to possess a number of sustainable features, such as energy-efficient buildings, low-maintenance landscaping, recycling bins, stormwater capturing systems, organic mulch and fertilizers, on-site composting, and long-lasting materials – all of which support the larger goal of making urban areas as green as possible.