Climate change and sustainability top of the agenda for smart city objectives

Climate change and sustainability top of the agenda for smart city objectives

Climate change and sustainability top of the agenda for smart city objectives

​Climate change, resilience and sustainability will make up half of all smart city objectives by 2020, according to the latest research from Gartner.

According to the analyst firm, cities are defining new objectives and placing them into tangible programs. This creates measurable outcomes that meet the targets agreed upon at the COP 21 in Paris to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

"With the Horizon 2020 goals of energy efficiency, carbon emission reductions and renewable energy in mind, many cities in Europe have launched energy sustainability, resource management, social inclusion and community prosperity initiatives," explains Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner.

Tratz-Ryan says Internet of Things technologies and the ability to analyse data in a contextualised way can accelerate the development of smart city execution.

According to Tratz-Ryan, major world cities have adopted traffic and mobility objectives to resolve or mitigate the traffic congestion issue with IoT-enabled smart city solutions, but urban mobility does not stop at a seamless choice that consist of moving from A to B.

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"The uptake of ride sharing, the electrification of public transportation, the support infrastructure for e-vehicles and congestion charging for combustion engines, all of those examples are driving cleaner air, producing fewer GHG emissions and saving energy, while improving the noise levels and ambience on streets," she explains.

Tratz-Ryan cites the Florence card as an example of how there can be a substantial economic benefit in those measures that can be also directly related to climate change, resilience and sustainability outcome.

"The Florence card provides free transportation on electric buses to many touristic sites, helping improve the cultural and touristic experience of the visitors while using environmentally friendly electric buses," she says.

"This example shows that there are economic advantages in those measures that can be also directly related to climate change, resilience and sustainability outcome."

Tratz-Ryan  says sensors have become a critical element in the execution of climate change goals and are at the heart of smart cities.

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