According to United Nations projections, sixty-eight percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. The migration to urban centers is accelerating the need for digital transformation as government and city administrators face increasing pressure to make cities safer, accessible, sustainable, and prosperous. This has driven the adoption of the ‘smart cities concept’ to prioritize the use of digital and technology innovations to address long-standing urban and environmental challenges.
Saudi Arabia’s smart city market size is projected to reach $14 Billion by 2027 and will create futuristic ‘smart cities’ at the center of urban living. NEOM is a visionary project that represents this ‘smart city’ of the future. Sustainability is also high on the agenda for the region with the world’s biggest oil company, Saudi Aramco, committing to net-zero emissions by 2050. The region will invest in reduction strategies like 16 million carbon offsets to achieve this target. Through strategic partnerships, governments and technology leaders like TraceSafe will come together to lead this transformation.
With technology and data-driven insights to make better decisions, cities can prepare for growth, become more sustainable, and thrive. Thanks to the innovative Internet of Things (IoT), smart and sustainable cities won’t just be a concept of the future but an imminent reality. Connected technology will enable access to real-time city and climate data to help long-term planning and sustainable infrastructure.
Read on to know more about how IoT will be central to the evolution of cities into smart and sustainable cities of the future.
A good example of a smart city that is prioritizing sustainability is Taipei. The city’s ambitions are to become one of the world’s smartest cities with Initiatives including greener and smarter buildings. The city has gradually incorporated data analysis and real-time IoT sensors into its operations, paving the way for decarbonization. Thanks to their use of technology, Taipei has so far managed to reduce its carbon emissions by 25,000 tons, which has not only led to a more sustainable city, but has saved the local government NT $265 million (USD $9.5 million).
The “IoT powered smart building” takes in the entire ecosystem of a building, using features in concert with one another to create a cohesive system, as opposed to disparate features. A truly energy-efficient building should not only consider the metrics of energy usage but the people who will be using the building and their needs when they go about their work. This way, space can be maximized for efficiency, which will in turn decrease the demand for energy resources. With this in mind, individual features such as LED lighting and wastewater management can be integrated smoothly into the design of a building.
Smart IoT solutions can be implemented in a smart city ecosystem to prevent water leakage, monitor water quality, and consumption, and create smart irrigation systems. Because of poor management and configuration, a conventional irrigation system wastes on average around 30% of the water used. A recent research describes a possible IoT city implementation scenario that aims to save up to 34% of water usage when harnessing data from sensors for temperature, humidity, and soil moisture, or up to 26% using only temperature inputs.
Public transportation and infrastructure equipped with sensors to capture data on scale can be a revolutionary step for cities to get smarter and more sustainable. Sensor technology and IoT is estimated to reduce commute times by approximately 30 minutes. By combining already existing traditional traffic light technology with IoT technology, smart cities can help manage vehicle and pedestrian traffic intelligently and even reduce emissions by optimizing vehicle travel time.
An interconnected ecosystem of IoT sensors can be used to collect pollution data from the entire city and predict accurate emission trends. This can allow local authorities to use data-driven insights to come up with strategies to reduce emissions like low-emission zones, speed limits, or designing public transportation infrastructure around observable trends in emissions.
There are already dozens of smart cities that can be considered exemplary in terms of innovation. However, every city experiences its own issues, so each of them requires customized solutions. Sustainability solutions driven by IoT consolidates critical data to help monitor and manage environmental impact. Governments and organizations can easily record, report, and reduce their environmental impact using actionable insights.
If you are on a path to introduce smart and sustainable solutions in a building, city or site, get in touch with TraceSafe’s IoT and sustainability experts for a free consultation today.