written by Cathe Reams
The challenges presented by sustainable urban development are immense. Today, more than half of the world’s population already lives in cities and the numbers are rising. Cities are responsible for around 75 percent of all energy used, 60 percent of all water consumed and 80 percent of all greenhouse gases produced worldwide. To face the multitude of challenges arising from urbanization and demographic change, cities are looking at ways to improve the efficiency of their infrastructures. With the right technology cities can become more environmentally friendly, increase the quality of life for their residents, and cut costs all at the same time.
For a real-world look at how our solutions can be implemented today, please download “Smarter Neighborhoods, Smarter City”. This report contains detailed recommendations on how to help America’s largest urban area – the City of New York – plan for more sustainable growth.
Sustainable development & urban infrastructure
Cities continue to grow as more and more people move into urban areas and with this shift towards urbanization, cities are experiencing an increasing strain on their current infrastructure systems. Roadways, power grids, telecommunications lines and public transportation are all systems which rely on a strong infrastructure to handle demand. Optimizing these infrastructural networks is an immense task which requires public and private cooperation.
Power generation and distribution
To meet the growing demand for power, an intelligent and flexible grid infrastructure, is essential. An overloaded power grid can cause the kind of blackout which swept through New York City and much of the Northeast corridor in the US in 2003. Blackouts like these can be prevented with a modern, reliable, environmentally friendly, and affordable energy grid system which works to match the supply and demand balance of our energy systems.
Siemens offers components and solutions for the entire energy conversion chain. This starts with power generation in highly efficient combined gas and steam turbines, solar power plants and wind turbines. The electrical power generated there can be transported to cities with little loss via high-voltage direct current lines which help maintain and efficient transmission on energy through the country.
How do we get from point A to point B in the most efficient manner possible? How do we get people out of gridlock and on the move again? For starters, intelligent traffic control systems contribute to helping traffic flow. They reduce fuel consumption, air pollution, and noise by allowing cars to stop less frequently. Additionally, particularly in cities where space is limited, public transportation systems become increasingly important network for connecting people. Trains in particular are an environmentally friendly alternative to cars and airlines. The Siemens Velaro is a good example. This fourth generation high-speed train consumes only 0.14 gallons of fuel per seat per 100 miles.
Sustainable healthcare infrastructure
In healthcare, too, a shift in thinking about the use of energy and raw materials has set in. Both ecological and economical requirements must be considered when faced with the challenge of creating sustainable infrastructure solutions. Siemens helps hospitals to pave the way for the future – with green hospitals. With its modular Green+ Hospitals concept, Siemens is firmly gearing its healthcare portfolio towards environmental care and sustainability.
The most decisive factor for protecting the environment and minimizing costs in hospitals is power consumption. Energy costs can be reduced through energy optimization, building automation, and the use of energy-saving equipment. A smooth and safe workflow with structured clinical pathways, short examination times, and the comprehensive use of IT is also key to the economic efficiency of a hospital. And with more comfort and gentle treatment for patients, Green+ Hospitals can attain greater competitive appeal and also ensure a better quality of life.
What’s a green city to you, how is your city green, how can it be more sustainable?
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