8 Technologies Driving Green City Design for Smart Cities and a Sustainable Future

Most of the world’s population lives in cities, so urban areas are heavily responsible for climate change and pollution. However, it also means they have countless opportunities to improve their sustainability. The rise of green cities has a profoundly positive impact on the environment and human health. Here are eight technologies making it possible, including smart grids, sensors that measure air quality, and moisture control thermostats. 

1. Improved Public Transportation

Traditional vehicles — including diesel- and gas-powered cars — contribute significantly to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Cars emit about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. 

Electric and battery-powered buses, trains and subways reduce transportation emissions and get people where they need to go faster. A solid network of green public transit means people can be less reliant on cars. 

2. Renewable Energy

Wind, solar and geothermal energy play a huge role in developing and operating green cities. They improve air quality and provide a source of reliable, domestic power. Solar panels and geothermal energy sources, in particular, mesh very well with the built environment. They take up little space and make use of existing resources. 

3. Temperature, Air Quality, and Moisture Control 

Smart buildings make regulating temperature, air quality, and moisture control easier. Smart thermostats can sense building occupancy levels and automatically turn the temperature up or down. Indoor air quality and moisture control monitors sense when a structure may be generating harmful emissions. These technologies reduce overall energy usage and improve human health.

4. Energy Management Systems

Smart grids use intelligent communication and two-way data analysis to control energy flow. Smart meters are an important component of this type of grid, which collects data on electricity usage in particular areas and at certain times of the day. This energy management system helps city managers direct the flow of power where it most needs to be, improving efficiency, reliability and sustainability. 

5. Waste Management

By 2050, city waste generation will likely increase by around 70% to reach 3.4 billion metric tons annually. People recycle less than 20% of their waste. 

Thankfully, smart waste sorting machines can separate recyclables from garbage, helping more end up in the recycling bin. Garbage cans with fill-level sensors and AI-powered route optimization for municipal vehicles are also cutting down on trash levels. 

6. Water Management

Sensor-based irrigation systems and leak detection devices give cities more control over water usage. In the U.S. alone, broken water mains waste 2 trillion gallons of clean, treated drinking water, often due to undetected leaks. 

Internet-connected sensors near pipe alerts can inform maintenance crews when a leak occurs. Users can also shut them off remotely, and some smart water management systems even feature valves that turn off automatically during a leak. Water monitoring systems often use ground penetration, thermal imaging, fiber optics and noise loggers to detect leaks in real time. 

Smart irrigation systems play another important role in water management. Rather than watering plants on a schedule, they use weather data and soil moisture levels to determine when — and how much — to spray water. 

7. Internet-of-Things (IoT) Devices

Smart cities often integrate IoT devices into public areas. These internet-connected sensors track air quality, traffic conditions and temperature to improve public policymaking. For example, if sensors detect increased pollution from cars idling at an intersection, city planners may widen the road to relieve congestion. 

8. Green Spaces

Although plants themselves are not a form of technology, public parks, gardens, roadsides and other green spaces are crucial components of green city design. Landscapers can use cutting-edge tech to design and maintain them. For example, they can use IoT data to decide which buildings would best suit rooftop gardens, then install smart sprinklers to water the plants at optimal times. 

Building a Better Future

The world is going green, including places people don’t traditionally consider sustainable. Smart cities use new technology to improve water and waste management, transportation, energy use, air quality and moisture control. 

These changes affect more than just the environment — they also profoundly improve people’s quality of life. City residents will likely thrive amid these developments and embrace them once they see the health, environmental and monetary benefits. It won’t be long before green cities are the norm rather than the exception.

Website | + posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *