As technology advances, cities are becoming smarter than ever. A ‘smart city’ uses tech such as sensors and cameras to collect data, making urban centres more seamlessly connected and efficient. This intelligence has numerous benefits, such as improving mobility and safety as well as making urban areas more sustainable. Here, we explore some of the ways in which cities are becoming ‘smart’.
Electrical Vehicle Charging Points
Electric vehicles were designed as an alternative to traditional petrol and diesel fuelled engines. They are much cheaper to run and maintain, as they have fewer parts than traditional cars, such as exhaust systems and starter motors. Electric vehicles are also much more environmentally friendly, helping to reduce harmful air pollution. The rise of this technology has led urban planners to increase the availability of public charging points in an effort to be smarter and greener. Check out Zap-Map to find your nearest station.
Smart Parking Spaces
Traffic congestion is a major problem faced in cities. The rise of smart parking spaces may help to reduce it, by making parking in busy urban areas quicker and easier than ever before. It uses sensors to find out taken and available spaces, which is then provided to the public via a smartphone app. This innovative technology provides real time data allowing road users to save time finding a space, in turn reducing their fuel consumption.
Urban centres require a huge amount of uninterrupted energy to power the immense infrastructure. Less than eight years ago, fossil fuels made up of 81.3% of global energy supply, leading to rising greenhouse gases, pollution and large investment costs. Now, data has revealed that over 100 cities now obtain at least 70% of their electricity from renewable sources. The increased use of renewable energy technologies has helped to make cities more sustainable, by reducing dependence on finite resources. Companies such as Weir Engineering offer intelligent energy solutions including nuclear, hydro, water and waste power systems.
Smart Street Lights
Street lights are essential in all cities. Most of us have seen those which come on at a certain time of night and stay on until the sun rises. This method can waste huge amount of energy and cost a lot to run. Intelligent street lighting aims to combat this, using sensors to detect movements of pedestrians, cars and cyclists. When motion is detected, the technology switches LED lights on. When there is no activity, they dim or turn off. This helps to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions and lower costs whilst maintaining the safety and security of citizens.
The rise of digital solutions and renewable technologies has a firm place in our urban centres. Smart systems will allow us to further streamline our everyday lives, leading to a more efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable future.