Smart Cities and Sustainable Development


In addition to the growing popularity of the concept of Smart Cities, the concept of Sustainable Cities is also becoming widespread. It involves:

  • Creating a favorable and environmentally conscious design.
  • Striving to minimize energy, water, and food consumption.
  • Avoiding the irrational release of heat, air pollution from CO2 and methane, as well as water pollution.

How closely related are both concepts and how do they complement each other?

Smart Cities and sustainable urban development are closely interconnected concepts that share a common goal of creating a livable, environmentally friendly, and resource-efficient urban environment.

Aspect Smart City Sustainable City Development
Focus Technological development of the city Balanced urban development
Goal Increasing efficiency, accessibility, and services Promoting long-term social, economic, and environmental well-being
Key Elements Internet of Things, data analytics, accessibility, automation Environmental management, social justice, economic prosperity

Key aspects of the “Smart City” and “Sustainable City” concepts.

Here are some key connections between smart cities and sustainable urban development:

  • Efficient resource management. The development of a Smart City platform minimizes resource consumption and reduces environmental impact, contributing to sustainable urban development.
  • Use of renewable energy sources. Smart cities allow for the efficient distribution of renewable energy, and energy management systems optimize its utilization.
  • Sustainable mobility. Smart cities help promote the use of electric vehicles, shared mobility services, intelligent transportation systems, and real-time traffic management to enhance transportation efficiency and provide environmentally friendly mobility solutions.
  • Data-driven decision-making. Smart cities utilize data collection, analysis, and visualization, which urban planners use to design an infrastructure aligned with sustainable development goals. Data-driven information enables urban planning based on actual indicators, resource allocation, and policy formulation. The development of a Smart City platform helps engage citizens in urban planning and development, providing tools for feedback, collaboration, and participatory decision-making.
  • Environmental monitoring. The data enables proactive environmental management, early detection of pollution or hazards, and effective response to natural disasters.

Examples of sustainable development in smart cities

Amsterdam is one of the global leaders in smart cities, which is also reflected in sustainable development initiatives:

  • Street lighting adapts to pedestrian movement.
  • Smart trash bins provide information on the level of waste filling. These projects reduce energy consumption and harmful emissions into the environment.

Oslo consistently ranks high in the list of smart and sustainable cities. The city has made significant progress in reducing emissions and improving air quality through innovative intelligent technologies and management systems that enable monitoring and control of emissions throughout the city. Oslo monitors air quality and traffic, allowing for quick responses to environmental issues and traffic adjustments. A similar system example can be found at the link.

In São Paulo, the development of a Smart City platform enables air quality forecasting using AI and big data analysis. Indicators are collected through mobile communication and compared with information such as weather, traffic, and pollution levels. This allows for predicting the state of the environment for 24-48 hours and taking measures to redirect traffic until peak air pollution levels are reached.

Epol Soft develops software for environmental monitoring and analysis of the collected information.

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