Smart Cities as a Tool to Tackle Global Challenges

Montlleó, Marc and Rodríguez, Gustavo and Sanromà, Itzel (2014) Smart Cities as a Tool to Tackle Global Challenges. REAL CORP 2014 – PLAN IT SMART! Clever Solutions for Smart Cities. Proceedings of 19th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 967-970.

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We live in a planet with limited resources and our way of life is based on resources consumption. This consumption generates externalities as a result of urban metabolism. One of the main resources we always need is energy; we need it for obtaining raw materials, for processing them, for commuting every day, for communicating, for watertreatment, or for our own cellular metabolism; and as our society is becoming more technified we are getting more energy dependent. We must reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency, we have started this race and the actions we undertook had good results but there is more we can do to go forward in this field. Cities are complex systems, connected and dependent. Cities are the main consumers of resources, and it makes them play an important role as a drivers to change. To make smart cities we need real time data. Technology and knowledge must arrive to final user and the user needs criteria for decision making to make that possible. In the last decade there have been great advances in technologies, in sensor’s development, ways and speed for data communication, and tools and applications to visualize data. The challenge now is integrating all of this in order to make the cities smart. Urbanization, the demographic transition from rural to urban, is associated with shifts from an agriculture-based economy to mass industry, technology, and service. For the first time ever, the majority of the world's population lives in a city, and this proportion continues to grow. One hundred years ago, 2 out of every 10 people lived in an urban area. By 1990, less than 40% of the global population lived in a city, but as of 2010, more than half of all people live in an urban area. By 2030, 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city, and by 2050, this proportion will increase to 7 out of 10 people. Currently, around half of all urban dwellers live in cities with between 100 000 - 500 000 people, and fewer than 10% of urban dwellers live in megacities (defined by UN HABITAT as a city with a population of more than 10 million). Cities also consume 75% of global energy production, generate more than 70% of the total wastes and are directly responsible for more than 80% of global GHG emissions. So doing cities more efficient, less energy and resources demandant and reducing their ecological footprint is one of the key factors to tackel global challenges. Cities should also contribute to energy generation. One of the main problems is that European cities have old dwellings that they ussually don’t acomplish the actual standards. Building brand new efficient urban districts is relativelly easy to acomplish nowadays, but what do we do with the already existing city?

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Smart Cities, Global Challenges, Renewable Energy, Barcelona, Real Time Data
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2016 07:29
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2016 07:29

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