The urban dilemma: Cities – the problem and the solution
IoT Sweden arranged a joint workshop together with the Dutch company AeroVision during the Smart City Business Forum in Barcelona. The workshop was centred on how we can use the urban spaces even smarter in order to steer towards a sustainable future.
Over half of the world’s population lives in cities and urbanisation continues rapidly. The Smart City Business Forum in Barcelona brings together European and international stakeholders and decision-makers, both from the private and public sector, around climate-neutral and smart cities.
Utilise rooftops and the space underground
IoT Sweden arranged a workshop together with representatives of the Dutch company AeroVision. The workshop centred on how we can use the entire urban space from the rooftops to the underground in a smarter way. Two of IoT Sweden’s projects participated with examples of climate solutions in densely populated municipalities. Sophia Sundberg, CEO at Barkarby Science, talked about the IoTak (IoT Rooftop) project:
“We are developing a model where, with the help of IoT and AI, we can calculate the socio-economic benefits of installing green roofs in the municipality of Järfälla. Rooftops are an unused resource in the urban cities that can create value on many different levels”, she said.
Lars-Olov Andersson, representing Stockholm Water and Waste, talked about the project Reduce Reuse Recycle. The goal is to create an easy-to-manage waste system for residents in Norra Djurgårdsstaden, which will ultimately contribute to reduced climate emissions and improved sorting rates. With the help of IoT solutions, the district’s garbage collection system is to be digitised and, in addition, nudging is also used as a method.
“We work with behavioural change where we try to nudge people so that they want to become better at sorting waste. Through IoT solutions, we can measure behavioural changes and the residents get feedback on their waste sorting, which they can follow through an app”, said Lars-Olov Andersson.
Cities are both the problem and the solution
Cities account for a large part of the earth’s climate impact, today there are 33 megacities with more than ten million inhabitants. Big cities create climate impact, but at the same time it is in big cities, where many people are, that it is possible to create innovative solutions for a sustainable future.
The LIVE project in Amersfoort
AeroVision is a company in the Netherlands that supports organisations in the procurement of geodata and georelated software. Leon Hendriks, at AeroVision talked about the project LIVE in the municipality of Amersfoort. The project collects different types of geodata from the municipality which are then visualised in a 3D environment, a digital twin. In the digital twin, it is possible to simulate different scenarios for how to design public environments.
“There is a large amount of interest when it comes to the design of green areas in a city. But not every initiative can be realised, the surface is simply limited. It is also necessary to consider what the green areas are to be used for and by whom. Our 3D environment can facilitate the planning and design phase”, says Leon Hendriks.
The workshop brought together participants from mainly the Netherlands and the Nordic countries. Robert Lann at the Swedish tech company Sensative talked about the importance of working horizontally and stressed, among other things, how important it is to build modern system architecture based on international standards.
The Earth Valley ecosystem
Camiel Weijzen from the municipality of Amersfoort talked about the Earth Valley ecosystem. This is an initiative in the municipality of Amersfoort that brings together over 700 stakeholders around several core areas that affect smart cities.
Catrin Ditz from IoT Sweden and Tamme van der Wal moderated the workshop and together they stated that collaboration between the public sector, businesses and academia is required if we want to take real advantage of all technical solutions for the smart city. Or as one participant put it in a rhetorical question:
“Is it really ethically justifiable not to use existing new technological solutions to create a sustainable future?”