World Economic Forum: 4 ways smart cities will make our lives better

World Economic Forum: 4 ways smart cities will make our lives better

As demonstrated in a new report, the rapid and pervasive development of digital technologies, along with an understanding of circular economy principles, will drastically change life for the average urban citizen much sooner than we think.

The circular economy is a concept by which materials and products are kept at their highest possible value at all times. Finite materials are not thrown into landfills and valuable assets from cars and office space to spare rooms and sporting equipment are not left idle. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) will help this to become a reality. Sensors and smart phones will be able to track materials and assets, letting people know when they are not being used, about to break, or where they are. This will unlock huge amounts of spare capacity in the system, creating new business models that will drastically change the way the city functions. The digital circular city would not only save resources but would change the citizen’s experience for the better.

What would life in the connected city look like?

Smart energy networks

Your power supply could look very different. Current grid systems are relatively inefficient, long distance energy transmission from centralized power plants can lead to losses of up to 30%. In the future the IoT could lead to a distributed energy network. Households, factories and public buildings will generate their own electricity from renewable sources, using the excess space in walls, roofs and even windows for solar and wind generation.

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