Data collection, monitoring of preserved areas and clean technologies are some of the strategies adopted by municipalities to become more sustainable every day
Deforestation, air pollution, irregular disposal: many of the main environmental problems have a common their origin, our urban centers. Whether due to disorderly growth, excessive use of resources or the lack of basic services, such as sanitation and treated water, the point is that cities are often harmful to our planet.
What is not lacking, however, are alternatives to change this scenario, and many of them have a direct connection with a theme that we already know very well: Smart Cities. Efficient, integrated and resilient, these cities recognize that the quality of life of their residents goes hand in hand with sustainability, and for that reason they always bet on technologies or initiatives capable of preserving their ecosystems and natural resources.
Always wondered why smartcities take the lead when it comes to sustainability? We explain below why:
Integrated public management
Smart Cities are able to deliver better services because they manage their infrastructure in a unified and comprehensive way. For its managers, areas such as sanitation, transport and technology are always considered together with the environment, as it is recognized that one subject is directly related to the other.
In São Paulo, for example, much of the pollution comes from the car use – a problem that also concerns the mobility sector. So much so that, in the pandemic, the capital of São Paulo saw the atmospheric quality of the air rise considerably with fewer people driving on the streets. The harmful effects generated by fossil fuels also lead to another issue: the ability of a city to encourage and adopt cleaner energy sources. Therefore, the role of entities such as Secretaries of Innovation and Technology is important to continue innovating and seeking cleaner solutions for a city.
Data collection and monitoring
For different areas of the public management talk to each other, it is necessary, first of all, that each of them know their own performance and the challenges they need to face. In Smart Cities, this is done with data collection and analysis: it is through policies that are based on secure and constantly updated information that managers are able to identify environmental problems or areas of risk / vulnerability, adopt strategies to solve the problems encountered and respond quickly to challenges.
Through sensors that monitor water pollution, for example, municipalities can safely monitor whether their inhabitants are having adequate access to the resource, be notified in cases of environmental accidents and develop short-time emergency containment actions. Another positive point of using these technologies is that, in addition to real-time data collection, managers can monitor the evolution of numbers over time, being able to measure whether their policies are having a positive impact on the city and its residents.
In the case of the environment and, more specifically, of preservation areas, we cannot forget the importance of monitoring the territory. In Smart Cities, satellites, surveillance systems and drones have the important mission of indicating in real time fires and illegal deforestation. An example of how these tools work is the Copernicus solution, also known as the European Union’s Earth Observation and Monitoring Program. It collects environmental data from satellites and sensors across the planet to provide information in a complete, free and open manner.
Betting on innovation
In a Smart City, the search for innovation leads public services to become increasingly helpful. Always looking for new tools, partnerships and ideas, these cities prioritize solutions that reduce costs and implementation times, that identify problems in a faster manner and that are able to serve more and more citizens with quality.
From big data systems to apps that we use in our day-to-day lives, there are plenty of simple and inexpensive alternatives to face urban problems. An example of this can be found in Paris, France. It is estimated that 30% of traffic in city centers is caused by cars looking for a place to park, and it was precisely to meet this challenge that the French capital adopted an smart parking system. With the help of sensors and software, the mobile app indicates he availability of a car place, so the user can book and pay for it online. Without so many cars circulating on the streets, traffic becomes better with less congestion, and the environment itself is with less pollution.
There is no more efficient way to identify the demands of the population than by creating direct channels of dialogue. For this reason, in addition to always counting on transparent managements, which disclose how and where public resources are being used, Smart Cities promote the political engagement of their citizens. Not by chance, these municipalities are betting on connectivity and increasingly universal access to the internet so that their residents can be part of this digital universe.
Brazilian apps like Colab, for example, are easy and free options for connecting citizens to governors. Like a social network, the platform allows users to report irregularities in the city, such as outbreaks of dengue, holes found in the street or streetlights that are not functioning. Once the post is made, the message is sent by the app to the city hall, so that it can then take the appropriate measures.
Want to make your city more sustainable? We are Bright Cities
Specialist in public management, Bright Cities is an easy and fast tool that diagnoses the efficiency of cities and indicates the best solutions to improve it, making it smarter every day. Using data from more than 150 urban indicators, we evaluate the performance of areas such as urbanism, technology and of course, environment, consolidating the results in one place: our online platform.
Thus, managers have in their hands a unified view of the most relevant information in their city, which previously were inaccessible or dispersed in different sources and portals. In addition to ensuring a more integrated management, our platform allows managers themselves to update the values obtained with the indicators: thus, they can evluate the impact of their actions over time and base their policies on safe and current data. In addition to the diagnosis, Bright Cities platform also develops a solution roadmap for municipalities, where the most appropriate services and technologies are presented to meet the identified demands.
With our help, managers are aware of the most recent and innovative initiatives available on the market.
Do you want to know how we can help your city become more sustainable?
Visit our platform and upgrade your city!