We are nearing the point where the term Smart City will cease to be a buzzword and become a reality for many people living in the most progressive conurbation. 2018 will be the year of the smart city, and their impact in making everyday living greener and healthier is getting more and more noticeable.
As more than 55% of the world’ s estimated population of 7.4 billion already live in cities, the burden on climate change and resource scarcity is increasing, and the need for more efficient and healthier cities becomes more pressing. Luckily, 2018 is expected to see many such initiatives for healthier, people-centered, less polluted cities, come into fruition. Key progress will be made on reducing emissions and making cities more accessible for pedestrians, bicycles and public transport.
Paris has already established a car-free zone near the Seine, which will be extended by 1km before the end of 2018, with the addition of a guided bus route and extra bike lanes. Copenhagen, where more than half of commuters cycle to work every day, will support bike and pedestrian access even more with a huge infrastructure initiative which includes the launch of 37 new safe bike routes by the end of 2018. Shenzhen, already China’ s more sustainable city and greener than US and European cities, will continue its progress towards greener living by cutting emissions and investing in parks and an expansion of its metro system. London will further build on recent initiatives such as banning cars from the key Bank junction in the City’s financial district, by launching a new transport strategy focused on “healthy streets’ within 2018. The new strategy includes targets for getting people out of cars to achieve an average of 20 minutes of exercise via bike or foot during their commute.
In addition, the testing and trials of cleaner, electric autonomous personal transportation are expected to increase throughout 2018, along with other important innovations that will increase efficiency and decrease environmental impact, such as aerial drones. The main driving force between the rapid progress of these innovations is the pragmatism of business people, communities and the scientists and engineers that empower them. 2018 is expected to be a key year which will bring Smart Cities closer to a wider realization.
The original article can be found on WIRED.