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Smart City Technologies Critical for Reaching Net-Zero Goals

By Greg Tavarez

Cities worldwide account for more than half of the planet’s population and are responsible for more than 70% of global carbon emissions. Most countries, including the U.S., have goals to reach net zero by 2050. To reach net zero, decarbonization strategies are being employed by cities worldwide.

Smart city technologies will be a critical asset for decarbonization and reaching net zero, according to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research. One of the smart city strategies that in growing in popularity is micro-mobility – using electric scooters and bikes along with smart street lights to reduce energy costs and microgrids to improve electric grid stability while providing clean energy.

"The technologies can enhance decarbonization through more efficient energy use, better project planning, predictive maintenance, greener mobility options and greater urban management through better data management," said Dominique Bonte, vice president, end markets at ABI Research.

London's recent expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone is an example of a city utilizing technologies for decarbonization. The ULEZ uses various technologies such as automatic number plate readers, CCTV cameras and environmental sensors to assess the impact of the new regulations.

Tengah, Singapore, also uses various technologies to support decarbonization including a centralized cooling system, smart streetlights, smart waste removal, a mobile app for citizens' smart meters and mass rapid transport with a car-free city center.

"Cities have a great opportunity to influence how we reach net-zero goals through their ability to regulate, purchase and influence their services. By opting for smarter, more resilient solutions they can reach and maintain their decarbonization goals to increase the health of their citizens and the wider community," said Bonte.

These strategies directly impact energy consumption and encourage and enable citizens to make better choices to help the city decarbonize, ultimately preventing the planet from warming more than 34 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. 

Edited by Erik Linask

SmartCity Editor

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