Smart Sustainable Cities – The Need for 21st Century
June 24, 2018 In SMART INFRASRUCTUREBy the year 2050, it is projected that nearly 70% of the global population shall be residing in cities. In the face of such ever increasing economic and environmental challenges due to rapid expansion and urbanization, the cumulative pressure, on the sustainability of cities is mounting. Statistically speaking almost 75% of the global energy resources are consumed by cities making them also accountable for 80% of the global emissions.The coming decades, with therapid rate of urbanization, means that these numbers will only go up. In order to mitigate the challenges, governments are now gravitating towards the use of modern information and communication technologies to create smart buildings which would help in improving the quality of urban services in a cost-efficient and sustainable manner; thus, laying the foundation for smart cities.
By the year 2020, India is expected to be the 3rd largest market in the world for construction, with an estimated 11.5 million buildings (commercial as well as non-commercial) being added every year. With urbanization on an exponential ascent in the country, the shift to smart buildings, which as per research could save up to 40% of energy usage, 30% of water usage than existing infrastructure, as well as cut costs of maintenance by 10% to 30% will also help in boosting the Indian economy.On a strategic level, the underlying themes for Smart cities talk about sustainability, economic revitalization/development, and a better citizen-community-business engagement. The adoption of the emergent IoT solutions for the integration of information and operations across city systems to provide effective and efficient services to the citizens also ensures the sustainable livability of the community. On the sustainable economic development front, it is essential to engage city planners, corporate building owners, private developers, property managers to ensure efficient management of public facilities and encourage the adoption of Smart Buildings technologies. For the smart building concept to thrive in India, it is essential that the government supports the initiative by providing tax subsidy, which will help in the reduction of cost of ownership of smart buildings, also making it a lucrative/attractive option for the common man. Special funding schemes also need to be provided in order to attract PPPs for smart building projects. Buildings no longer serve as just physical structures, as their role in the everyday lives of people is being constantly redefined to assess the quality of life. In the coming years, people, companies and technology will need to come together and work collectively for a better and sustainable living, hence it is necessary to make the citizens aware of the benefits of smart buildings and also make them a cost-effective option, keeping in mind that this shift is the fundamental cornerstone to the creation of smart cities.