Cities around the world have a new ally in the fight to achieve prosperity and sustainability. More than a dozen top technology firms — including some of the world's largest — have formed the Smart Cities Council to provide cities with tools and best practices. Click to read the press release.
Policy and leadership
India will have to accommodate another 700 million city dwellers over the next 20 years, which has led its government to announce plans to set up two smart cities in every state.
Livermore, California became the inaugural community in The Capacity Project, a new initiative from Chevron and WattzOn to help provide sustainable local economic growth, help residents save money on power bills and help the local workforce gain skills for careers in cleantech industries.
Public safety may be a primary reason for street lighting initiatives, but a number of cities are finding that advanced lighting technologies can lead to very significant energy savings.
A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab says super-efficient air conditioners can provide a significant boost for regions dealing with increasingly high energy demand. The study found that air conditioning efficiency can be improved as much as 20 to 40%.
Vancouver, B.C. city staff has laid out a $30 million smart cities plan for the city council that includes expanding the city's open data program, providing access to city services through digital platforms and providing an 'incubator' for digital businesses in the community.
It's unlikely that many small rural villages get a lot of visitors from countries as diverse as Korea and the U.S., but little Feldheim, Germany does. And the visitors aren't coming as tourists. They want to find out how the village (population: 125) became Germany's first and so far only village that can say it's entirely energy self-sufficient.
The executive director of UN Women told a forum on cities against poverty that technology is significantly supporting initiatives to make cities safer places. And she brought some issues to the discussion not often heard in smart cities discussions: women's participation and equal rights.
The city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Boston University are working with IBM to find new, smarter solutions to persistent urban challenges, including traffic congestion and streetlight management, energy efficiency, major event coordination, and water/sewer and airport management and maintenance.
Cities from Amsterdam and Stockholm to San Diego and Nanjing are reaching for the brass ring of sustainable, efficient and pleasant smart cities. But Santander, an old port city on Spain's Atlantic coast with the same financial problems nagging at many European cities, has already made it happen.