Sustainable Smart Cities database launched

Sustainable Smart Cities database launched

A new website has been created to showcase an array of digital technologies that can offer environmental benefits.

Sustainable Smart Cities was formally launched by the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) at the London headquarters of AECOM on 25 May. The engineering firm played a part in its development, as did the Institute for Environmental Analytics, backed by a taskforce of experts from industry, consultancy, government and academia.

The ‘smart cities’ concept embraces a wider range of technologies than the smart grid, covering innovations in waste and recycling, air pollution control and water management. Both London and Birmingham have strategies to harness the idea.

The website hosts around 80 case studies of innovations such as bins that send an email when they are full. They are then emptied when needed, saving time, costs and pollution from waste collection vehicles.

Another describes the Greater London Authority’s proposal to use satellite-based location data to automatically trigger hybrid taxis to operate in battery mode within the city centre. A third covers Buenos Aires’ efforts to use the internet-of-things to detect blocked drains, preventing flooding.

More case studies are expected to be provided and users may also upload their own.

Sam Ibbott, who leads the programme for the EIC, said:

“The market for sustainable smart technologies is, from our research, both nascent and disparate with robust evidence of real world impacts being both limited and dissipated, particularly at city-wide scale, and this can impede further investment.”

The free-to-access website is intended to address this problem, while also connecting stakeholders and providing market intelligence.

The initiative was first suggested by the EIC itself, in a 2014 report on the opportunities smart technologies offer for urban sustainability.

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