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Smart City Tech Is Evolving to Include Sustainability Features

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Cities are increasingly turning to smart city technologies to facilitate these transitions as they build microgrids for energy resilience and increase the use of electronic vehicles.

Cities, school districts, and another public-sector organizations are giving sustainability and climate policies top priority and using smart city technology to help them succeed.

According to Doug Davenport, founder and executive director of the clear tech volunteer Prospect Silicon Valley, many cities are making some progress in their plans for sustainability and decarbonization, but we’re still in the early stages. It’s important for cities to be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of innovative technology solutions in their project horizons because “the opportunity to leverage smart city technology will come as projects are developed.”

Recently, Fremont, California, joined forces with the charity to assist it in finding a quick-charging method to refuel energy police cruisers. The city was the first in the nation to show that, thanks to a partnership with Tesla, an EV can function as an officer’s vehicle in 2019.

Smart City Tech Is Evolving to Include Sustainability Features

Empowering Smart Cities: Microgrid Solutions for EVs and Sustainable Decarbonization

Hans Larsen, the common works director for Fremont, a city in the California Bay Area, spoke at the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo in November. He said that this puts an extremely high level of demand on our electrical systems.

The development of microgrids and battery storage for some of the city’s 130 most important buildings is progressing in different cities like San Jose, California.

During a panel at the conference, Carol Boland Whattham, program manager for sustainability and microgrids in San Jose, remarked that “we’ve been dreaming of decarbonization for some time.” Whattham continued by stating that the city wants to be completely decarbonized within six years and adopted its Climate Smart San Jose plan in 2018.

Whattham stated, “We’re trying to actually think of resiliency in terms of supporting buildings not only for the major earthquake but also for 2030 and beyond when we want to decarbonize.”

To implement an emissions reduction strategy, Prospect Silicon Valley has been collaborating with the Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD) in the Sacramento area of California. According to Davenport, the project, which is grant-funded by the California Air Resources Board, will include the purchase and installation of zero-emission vehicles and equipment, charging infrastructure, solar power generation, vehicle-sharing programs, and broad community engagement and workforce development. One of the biggest operators of electric school buses in the nation is TRUSD.

Harnessing Smart Technologies for Urban Resilience and Sustainability

In an email, Davenport stated that this effort would “provide essential examples and resources for other school districts to develop fleet electrification strategies, in addition to helping the district expand their fleet and build out a practical zero-emission transportation system.”

Cities and related organizations are turning to smart technologies to support these transitions, creating new opportunities for urban technology beyond intelligent transportation systems, economic sensors, and intelligent streetlights.

According to Davenport, who gave the example of “smart charging,” there has been a noticeable shift in smart technologies and applications towards the energy sector, driven by cities decarbonization and resiliency goals. Fleet managers can optimize charging based on factors like cost and operations with the aid of the technology.

When grid energy is threatened, expanding clean energy and microgrids offer opportunities to support community resiliency services in safeguarding important facilities, such as a school or community center.

Davenport also stated that the traditional “smart city data” collection approach is essential for identifying localized impacts related to problems like fire risk, sea level rise, and other threats, as well as making sure bright technologies are helping the affected areas of the community.

At the Smart Cities Connect conference he also said “That’s where smart cities can go. You can start to get data from those gadgets you want to put on streetlights, but it’s not just the data. It has to do with how those devices are currently used because the infrastructure can respond to them.”

Viktor Musil

Victor Musil, pen name for Edouard Py, advocates for inclusive, people-centered city development. His work underscores the importance of ethical considerations and equitable access, shaping the discourse on urban innovation worldwide.

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