Smart city living is becoming more prevalent in major cities all around the world. There are a plethora of benefits that come along with this new technology from running more energy efficient homes to keeping residents safe and secure when travelling around their communities.
One of the most significant benefits to this type of technological advancement is what it can do for the environment. Through monitoring, recording, and analysing data associated with the air quality and energy use, changes can be implemented to make the region a cleaner, healthier, more efficient place to live.
What Smart City Living Looks Like
When developing a smart city, there are several different directions that any one area can go depending on what their goals and ideas for the future are. Regardless of what it looks like, the primary objectives in all regions are the same. Making the communities more environmentally friendly, less congested, and better places to live in are what counts. There are a vast number of benefits that come along with developing smart cities, but here are a few that show what these kinds of advancements can do to improve the environment.
Accurate Monitoring of Environmental Conditions
Sensors, cameras, and the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) allow for visual and analytic data to be collected so that changes can be made that benefit the local residents. Some of the monitoring that takes place through these devices includes:
- Traffic congestion
- Sound levels
- Air quality
When leaders get a look at the collection of data, they can work together with the residents to determine how changes can be implemented to clear away or at least improve any problems that surface. Some of the strategies could involve ways of cleaning up air pollution or developing methods to free up congested areas for better flow of traffic.
The people living in these areas have real-time access to all of this information as well. They can take a look at it and decide what the best route to take to get where they need to go in the fastest time is.
Microgrids from Larger Energy Grids
There are experiments taking place right now that are determining if there are ways to run towns independently on their own microgrids off of a broader energy grid. Currently, businesses and homes are all connected on one big network. When there are problems with any home, commercial property, or another part of the big grid, everyone and everything on that grid is affected by it.
With microgrids, smaller areas can be powered off of solar panels, large batteries, or a system of generators independently from the big grid. With any of these power sources or a combination of the three, it is believed that the small networks could potentially run indefinitely.
Smart City Street Lights
The LED lights used in smart city street lights are beneficial for the environment because they require less energy to operate and they last longer than the older types. Another element to these kinds of lights is the fact that they can be dimmed or brightened depending on the real-time conditions in their immediate area. The safety and security of the people needing them are maintained while energy is saved at the same time. Smart Car Driving
Like something from a science fiction movie, autonomous and self-driving vehicles aren’t that far off into the future. Through the introduction of electric cars and hybrid vehicles, emissions have already been reduced in larger cities. As more and more individuals invest in these kinds of automobiles, more improvements in the air quality are going to become apparent.
Even though the self-driving car isn’t expected to surface for some time yet, they aren’t more than a couple of decades away from being seen on roads all around the world.
Fewer Emissions Being Released
Smart cities are expected to have fewer cars on the roadways for less amounts of time. Some of the reasons for that being the promotions of ride and bike-sharing services throughout the region. Improvements in public transportation will allow more citizens to use that method to get to and from where they need to go without frustration. Designing of neighbourhoods and towns as a whole will also encourage paths for walkable routes that require no use of motorised vehicles at all.
These are a just a few quick examples to take into consideration how smart city living will benefit the environment and residents with proper implementation. As the population of the world continues to grow, more people are moving into urban areas.
With more people, there are more emissions and more energy consumption. Smart cities aid in ensuring that there are no unnecessary pollutants released and energy-saving tactics are in place.