President Biden signed the Paris Agreement upon entering office, which outlines the commitment to climate change prevention efforts. Urban areas struggle to meet pollution reduction goals due to high transportation, building and manufacturing emissions.
Environmental engineers and scientists evaluated the sustainability limitations and created green technology to support ecological conservation. City planners can develop eco-friendly infrastructure using the Internet of Things (IoT).
Challenges With Conventional Urban Designs
Traditional city infrastructure supports transportation convenience, financial success and resource accessibility. While many architects effectively plan and develop urban areas, few evaluate their ecological impacts. City lights, security cameras, vehicles and more rely on fossil fuel for energy.
During the combustion phase, fossil fuels release greenhouse gas emissions into the environment. When the contaminants invade the atmosphere, they change its composition and temperature regulating features. Earth relies on a specific balance of atmospheric elements to sustain life-sufficient surface temperatures.
The planet naturally produces heat out of sunlight, warming the surface. The atmosphere collects excess energy and sends it to space, preventing overheating. Greenhouse gases have an increased light-to-heat conversion rate compared to other elements.
They also contain extra energy in the environment for extended periods, refiltering it through the heat production process. Over time, emissions increase Earth’s temperature, creating various adverse ecological effects.
High concentrations of greenhouse gases also decrease public health and safety. Inhaling high volumes of emissions can harm respiratory health. Long-term exposure increases the risk of lung cancer, asthma and other illnesses. Designing a city to reduce greenhouse gases can improve community health and wellness.
Enhancing green infrastructure and smart technology can increase an energy grid’s reliability. Conventional energy sources are often unreliable and sensitive to extreme weather patterns, and blackouts can leave people without access to vital resources.
Adding clean energy in urban areas can decrease power outages.
Here are four reasons city planners should invest in green and smart infrastructure.
1. Improving Security
IoT technology in a city connects cameras and other identification collection devices in real-time using the cloud. Smart systems also allow remote professionals to track illegal activity with drones. When the technology identifies safety issues on the streets, authorities can respond immediately and efficiently.
Smart monitors may additionally improve public safety by tracking indoor emissions in public spaces. Some subway tunnels hold unhealthy quantities of carbon dioxide, decreasing residential well-being. The monitors can autonomously restrict public entrance into low air quality regions and protect lung health.
2. Decreasing Urban Heat Islands
Green infrastructure relies on renewable energy and efficiency-enhancing technologies. Minimizing emissions prevents the accumulation of pollutants on the surface. When ground-level ozone interacts with sunlight, it raises local temperatures.
In the summer, urban heat islands can cause heatstroke and other health-related issues. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and employing solar energy can effectively prevent localized temperature increases, protecting human health and biodiversity.
3. Reducing Atmospheric Degradation
One of the main reasons cities are investing in smart and green infrastructure is to reduce emissions, enhancing their sustainability levels. Urban construction companies are using solar and wind power in new projects. Renewable energy can help builders effectively develop and maintain green infrastructure.
They are also using electric heavy machinery to reduce tailpipe emissions. Over time, reduction efforts can decrease atmospheric degradation and the enhanced greenhouse effect.
4. Minimizing Energy Costs
Adding IoT technology and renewable energy systems in cities can reduce utility costs. Solar is currently the least expensive power source on the market. Utilizing energy-efficient devices can also cut down energy bills, further increasing the cost-effectiveness of smart cities.
Investing in Sustainable Cities Now
Energy professionals and builders can invest in green and smart infrastructure by accessing the necessary funding. The government provides tax credits and other financial support for emissionless energy technology, decreasing the cost of development. Cities can also access a portion of Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better funding to support sustainable construction projects. Making these investments now will pay off well into the future.