The Future is Smart: Smart Cities for Sustainable Development

by Hussam Mansour

The UN predicts that the global population will rise to 9.8 billion people by 2050 and that 68% of them will live in cities. An increase of pressure on infrastructure means urban planners are beginning to rethink their operations. Cities are becoming smarter and aim to harness technologies that advance efficiency, economic growth, sustainability and public safety.

The 5G revolution will bring with it the promise of improved mobile connectivity and a level of interconnection that we’ve never experienced before. With greater access to networks, IoT technology will inarguably become further intertwined into our daily lives. Inherently data-driven, smart cities can utilise the capabilities of technology to transform and improve ways of living.

While Covid-19 has forced many global developments to be stalled, the pandemic has in fact highlighted the need for an increase in digital city planning. Decision-makers are considering new ways to gather data and investigating how it can support their top priority at the moment; public health. 

Undoubtedly, smart city development will be met with an influx of investment post-Covid. Cities that are equipped with a digital infrastructure have the means to collect and analyse data, giving them a better understanding of how to adapt to a crisis.

Smart cities strengthen sustainable development 

Urbanization and industrialization have brought about a plethora of environmental challenges. Smart cities can advance Sustainable Development Goals by delivering a cleaner environment for citizens. Smart cities can utilize data to offer valuable solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make fundamental changes to move toward a circular economy. 

Gartner predicted that half of the smart city objectives are focused on climate change, resilience and sustainability KPIs. The challenge faced by cities is connecting urban sustainability challenges to applicable and value-adding solutions, for example, how to create renewable fuel, the reuse of water and how to reduce energy consumption.

One major issue faced by planners is that of waste management. As populations are rapidly increasing, so is the production and circulation of waste. A surge in the volume of solid waste poses a threat to existing, static methods of waste management. 

With 9 out of 10 bins emptied too early or too late, unnecessary collections result in unwanted noise, traffic congestion and increased CO2 emissions. Collections that are made too late result in unsightly, smelly, and contaminated containers, which naturally increases the volume of citizen complaints. Through using traditional methods of waste management, cities are unlikely to meet citizens’ expectations or municipal KPIs regarding sustainability. 

Accelerating Smart Cities with WasteHero

WasteHero offers an end-to-end solution that optimizes the collection of waste. The smart bin sensor sends data to the waste monitoring platform, so waste planners can view fill-levels in real-time. Dynamic collections are scheduled to ensure bins are picked up at the right time, every time. This modern method of waste collection prevents unnecessary pick-ups and eliminates overflowing containers. 

By switching to dynamic routing as opposed to statically scheduled pick-ups, cities can avoid additional fees and fewer emptyings, which mean that costs can be reduced by up to 50%. 

Cities with IoT sensors embedded within their infrastructure can achieve cost-efficiencies, reduce their overall environmental footprint and improve living standards. By bringing sustainable and cost-efficient waste management to urban planners, WasteHero is on a mission to make smart cities a reality! 

Interested to learn more about how your smart city can manage waste more sustainably? Contact a WasteHero expert today! 

  • WasteHero
  • Municipality
  • IoT
  • Smart City
  • Smart Waste Management
  • Technology

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