You probably have heard, at least once, about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and have noticed how countries and businesses try to switch to more eco-friendly practices. However, why is sustainability important? Considering the handful of challenges we face nowadays if we fail to make more sustainable decisions, we will not be able to maintain the ecosystem, hence the planet. If damaging processes continue unabated, humanity will run out of fossil fuels, many animal species will become extinct, and the atmosphere will be irreversibly harmed. Clean air and nontoxic atmospheric conditions, the expansion of dependable resources, and the quality and cleanliness of water are all advantages of sustainability. Therefore, if you have ever wondered “why is sustainability important?”, you should keep in mind that it enhances the quality of our life, safeguarding our environment and natural resources for the future.
Table of Contents
Why is Sustainability Important?
What are Smart Cities, and Why Do We Need Them?
4 Smart City Solutions
- Smart Cities and E-Government
- Waste Management
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Efficiency
What are Smart Cities, and Why Do We Need Them?
Smart cities have a variety of characteristics.
Smart city solutions typically combine automation, machine learning, and IoT for different applications. For example, power supply operations, maintenance, and planning can benefit from those advancements. Their purpose is to improve our lives while also allowing for economic growth. In short, a smart city uses a framework of information and communication technologies to build, deploy, and promote development plans to address urban challenges and create a connected, technologically enabled, and sustainable infrastructure.
Smart City Solutions
Smart Cities and E-Government
E-Government is the use of information and communication technology to ensure the optimal provision of relevant communication channels to improve the accessibility and organization of the available government services. Tax returns or license renewals are all examples of government services. Nowadays, almost any government service is possible to make available online, which comes with a handful of advantages. These include higher public participation, productivity within the system, and cost-efficiency. For instance, the city of Durham is a go-to example to prove the latter. Here, switching to the govService platform with about 90 government forms, resulted in annual savings of about $308,000.
To alleviate the problem of trash management, Enevo, for example, employs smart wireless sensors to measure and forecast fill levels in trash containers. Enevo identifies which garbage pickup sites are nearly full and calculates the best driving route between them. Unlike the typical strategy of garbage trucks arriving at predetermined times and following predetermined routes.
Furthermore, Envac may be able to provide a more advanced waste management system. With Envac, waste management becomes an integrated part of the urban infrastructure similar to sewage or water supply. Envac’s technology automatically empties the waste inlets and transports it out of the area via underground pipelines. The latter eliminates the practice of waste collection and saves a lot of bin space. With all those characteristics, the Envac system may help reduce heavy traffic and associated pollutants by up to 90%. Such outstanding results make similar systems a go-to smart city solution contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. For instance, the City of Maroochydore in Australia is known for using this method since 2021.
Another factor that should be addressed to achieve sustainability is energy efficiency. For instance, in 2009, Singapore installed the “Intelligent Energy System”. This technology provides real-time energy usage data. IES intends to boost network efficiency and promote active participation among consumers by integrating this system into homes, automobiles, communities, electrical network sensors, and green power sources.
Moreover, other energy-saving solutions used in Singapore include smart street lights, which detect motion and adjust automatically. They also warn city officials when the lights malfunction. Smart technologies aim to reduce energy waste making the cities more sustainable.
Did you know that over two billion people now live in countries with inadequate water supplies? Therefore, it’s no surprise that this is one of the UN’s main Sustainable Development Goals. We can refer to Singapore to provide an example of a feasible smart solution.
Water scarcity will be an ongoing worry for Singapore as the population grows. As a result, the country had to implement novel solutions in this area. The national water utility agency regularly sends out messages to the public on the efficient use of water resources. In a nutshell, the latter involves ordinary persons in the processes and improves awareness and social responsibility levels. Furthermore, Singapore Power has a smartphone app that allows citizens to check their outstanding bills and payment status. Thus people learn more about their consumption and can submit meter readings. As a result, customers are motivated to conduct a home audit to manage their water usage better.
In this article, we wrapped up the main characteristics of smart cities and analyzed their role in reaching higher levels of sustainability in the world. The smart city solutions that can be found in this article prove how many environmental issues can be addressed through innovative technologies. Considering the urgency of the problems caused by our inconsiderate practices, it is crucial to act reversely as soon as possible. Seeders Capital is here to educate, inform and take real-life actions. So, make sure not to miss out on the upcoming articles to keep pace with today’s trends and developments.