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Smarter Sensing Cities
Smarter Sensing Cities
Building cities smarter by using advanced digital technologies as their design and operating base. It's a concept promoted by the World Economic Forum at Davos. Their specific reason is to impact and reduce accelerating climate change. A staggering 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. Lighting, heat, cooling and power for homes, office buildings, schools and hospitals account for 1/5th of global emissions yearly.
Looking for Energy Miracle
World Economic Forum officials believe smarter cities are a key factor that could change that. Microsoft's Bill Gates is part of a group which has created a fund to invest in climate change solutions through technology. As Gates puts it "we need an energy miracle". Meanwhile, a company called Sidewalks Labs is putting the smarter cities theory into practice. Sidewalks is owned by Google's parent company Alphabet. Non-fossil fuel energy will power it.
Toronto Project - the Smarter Sensing City
Sidewalks is partnering with the Canadian government and Waterfront Toronto, the government agency overseeing the project. The project is called Quayside and it matches cutting edge urban design with state of the art digital technology. Developers are making decision on design, policy and technology based on sensors. They've deployed an extensive network of sensors around the city. They monitor everything from air pollution to noise pollution. They are building Quayside based on the data to address problems like greenhouse gas emissions.
Robot Cars and Robot Workers
Sidewalks calls Quayside "the world's first city built from the internet up."
The vision for Quayside is all vehicles would be autonomous and shared. Parts of the urban neighborhood would be vehicle free. Robots would perform basic services such as mail delivery.
Food disposal systems would eliminate the need for a landfill. Self-contained thermal grids would recirculate non fossil fuel generated energy to heat and cool buildings. Buildings would be constructed of eco-friendly materials. And Sidewalks Labs will provide open access to the software and systems it's creating so that other companies can use it as a base to build services.
Source: Stock Photo of Toronto
The project is located in Toronto's industrial waterfront district. It's a 12 acre, mixed use "complete community". Construction is planned to start in 2019. Public hearings and community meeting are now underway. A number of other cities from Los Angeles to Boston are interested in working on urban projects with Sidewalks Labs. It's a smarter city model of important innovation.
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