Major cities are developing smart systems using the internet of things (IoT). Various autonomous devices work together to create a smart city. The devices collect data and communicate using Wi-Fi connections.
City developers must adopt IoT technology as digitalization advances. Smart devices improve residents’ convenience in urban areas. Over time, IoT can expand smart city systems.
The Demand for Smarter Cities
Urban residents are demanding smart system advancements to meet economic and environmental goals. The Biden-Harris administration is targeting urban emissions in its sustainability plan. The administration’s goal is to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Smart devices use IoT and machine learning (ML) to optimize their energy efficiency. Using less energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Nearly 60.8% of America’s electricity supply comes from fossil fuels, which produce carbon pollution.
Creating energy-efficient city systems also protects residents’ health. Individuals have greater risks of having asthma attacks, developing lung cancer and experiencing other adverse lung conditions in high-emission regions. Reducing emissions with smart devices can significantly improve humans’ health.
Urban residents also request smart city features to enhance their safety. In some cities, emergency response times are long. Smart monitors and traffic management systems can help professionals protect residents efficiently.
Smart cities are using IoT traffic management systems to reduce street congestion. The system uses real-time monitoring to measure traffic flow. Smart devices autonomously distribute the information throughout urban transportation sectors.
Traffic management systems may autonomously open new lanes when more drivers hit the road. They can also help emergency response professionals access quicker routes to accidents. Reducing emergency response times can lower cities’ death rates and make residents feel safer.
City Air Management
One manufacturing company developed a city air management system also using IoT. The cloud-based software connects to air quality monitors. The monitors distribute real-time data and pollution predictions to professionals.
Government officials and climate scientists can use the data to protect residents’ health. During low air quality times, cities may create an evacuation order. Other officials can use the data alongside carbon-capturing technology to prevent atmospheric pollution.
High-Efficiency Temperature Control
IoT technologies may also expand smart cities by improving temperature control efficiencies. Many homeowners are connecting their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to smart thermostats. The devices monitor indoor and outdoor temperatures to optimize heating and cooling.
Smart thermostats divide buildings into different zones monitored by motion detection sensors. The sensors determine a zone’s occupancy and adjust HVAC settings for energy conservation. Installing energy-efficient thermostats in commercial buildings is good for business.
Energy-efficient technologies are cost-effective and meet eco-consumers’ demands. Companies can shrink their carbon footprints with smart devices by reducing their fossil fuel reliance. Another IoT system supporting smart cities monitors waste management.
Smart Waste Management
Smart waste management systems use IoT to optimize collection, sorting and delivery services. The system relies on fill-level monitors placed throughout waste receptacles. Monitors deliver data to the cloud and optimize garbage pickup routes.
The waste system minimizes transportation emissions by only collecting full bins. Individuals can reduce their personal waste with smart garbage cans. The can uses artificial intelligence to monitor residents’ waste production.
Smart garbage cans come with cameras, scales and a cloud-based system. The system gathers food waste information, helping individuals purchase less of what they throw away. Researchers found the smart device can lower food waste rates by 40% on average.
Cities can access various economic, social and environmental benefits by adopting IoT technologies. The systems significantly shrink urban regions’ carbon footprints and protect residents’ health. They also decrease operation costs, helping cities place more tax money in different sectors.
Smart cities additionally produce less municipal solid waste than other regions. Minimizing landfill waste can protect individuals’ health and the global ecosystem. It may also reduce food waste, which minimizes the global hunger rate.
Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co.