White Paper: IoT & Sustainability: Practice, Policy, and Promise

By Gordon Feller, Founder, Meeting of the Minds

Gordon Feller founded Meeting of the Minds in order to harness the power of a global leadership network to build innovation-powered sustainable city futures. Gordon has worked for more than four decades at the intersection of global sustainability, government policy, and private investment focused on emerging technologies.

Oct 1, 2016 | Smart Cities | 0 comments


Who will you meet?

Cities are innovating, companies are pivoting, and start-ups are growing. Like you, every urban practitioner has a remarkable story of insight and challenge from the past year.

Meet these peers and discuss the future of cities in the new Meeting of the Minds Executive Cohort Program. Replace boring virtual summits with facilitated, online, small-group discussions where you can make real connections with extraordinary, like-minded people.


 

By 2050 nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities.  The global challenges of natural resource and infrastructure management are immense: global temperatures are rising, water shortages are more frequent, and energy systems are overburdened.  The “Internet of Things” (IoT)- physical objects embedded with software, sensors, and network connectivity- are poised to play a key role in enabling resilient and equitable management of urban environments. 

This summer, UC Berkeley’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), partnering with Microsoft, recently released “IoT & Sustainability: Practice, Policy, and Promise,” a white paper which explored how new IoT technologies can improve sustainability in cities.  

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-2-31-30-pm

IoT & Sustainability: Practice, Policy, and Promise

Download PDF

The paper focuses on three key sectors: water, energy, and transportation- and surveyed the landscape of IoT tools to improve sustainability in each of these areas, as well as bringing together existing examples and case studies.  It discussed a wide range of technologies that can make cities not only smarter, but more sustainable, showing how IoT can provide real-time data collection on the availability and use of energy and water resources, facilitating more informed resource conservation, and can streamline data collection on traffic patterns and parking availability, decreasing gas consumption and CO2 emissions.

The paper not only illustrated the potential sustainability benefits of IoT, but also addressed the challenges inherent in IoT implementation.  The paper also includes recommendations to city-level officials seeking to employ IoT technologies, encouraging a holistic perspective based on public-private engagement, the cultivation of public-private-academic partnerships for mutually beneficial outcomes, and the balancing of concerns privacy, security, and interoperability with trust, reliability, and transparency.  It also highlighted the continuing relevance of issues of access and equality in insuring outcomes that are both sustainable and just.

The paper was accompanied by a public symposium held at UC Berkeley, which brought together leaders from industry, academic, and government to discuss the promise of IoT for enhancing sustainability in the urban environment.  The event can be viewed at http://bit.ly/289wkDL.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

How Affordable Green Housing Enhances Cities

How Affordable Green Housing Enhances Cities

Housing that is affordable to low-income residents is often substandard and suffering from deferred maintenance, exposing residents to poor air quality and high energy bills. This situation can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory health issues, and siphon scarce dollars from higher value items like more nutritious food, health care, or education. Providing safe, decent, affordable, and healthy housing is one way to address historic inequities in community investment. Engaging with affordable housing and other types of community benefit projects is an important first step toward fully integrating equity into the green building process. In creating a framework for going deeper on equity, our new book, the Blueprint for Affordable Housing (Island Press 2020), starts with the Convention on Human Rights and the fundamental right to housing.  

The Pandemic, Inequality, Housing Affordability, and Urban Land

The Pandemic, Inequality, Housing Affordability, and Urban Land

Since the Great Recession of 2008, the housing wealth gap has expanded to include not just Black and Brown Americans, but younger White Americans as well. Millennials and Generation Z Whites are now joining their Black and Brown peers in facing untenable housing precarity and blocked access to wealth. With wages stuck at 1980 levels and housing prices at least double (in inflation adjusted terms) what they were 40 years ago, many younger Americans, most with college degrees, are giving up on buying a home and even struggle to rent apartments suitable for raising a family.

What makes it hard for policy people and citizens to accept this truth is that we have not seen this problem in a very long time. Back in the 1920s of course, but not really since then. But this is actually an old problem that has come back to haunt us; a problem first articulated by Adam Smith in the 1700s.

Multi-modal Transit and the Public Realm

Multi-modal Transit and the Public Realm

More than ever, urban transit services are in need of sustainable and affordable solutions to better serve all members of our diverse communities, not least among them, those that are traditionally car-dependent. New mobility technologies can be a potential resource for local transit agencies to augment multi-modal connectivity across existing transit infrastructures.

We envision a new decentralized and distributed model that provides multi-modal access through nimble and flexible multi-modal Transit Districts, rather than through traditional, centralized, and often too expensive Multi-modal Transit Hubs. Working in collaboration with existing agencies, new micro-mobility technologies could provide greater and seamless access to existing transit infrastructure, while maximizing the potential of the public realm, creating an experience that many could enjoy beyond just catching the next bus or finding a scooter. So how would we go about it?

The Future of Cities

Mayors, planners, futurists, technologists, executives and advocates — hundreds of urban thought leaders publish on Meeting of the Minds. Sign up below to follow the future of cities.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Wait! Before You Leave —

Wait! Before You Leave —

Subscribe to receive updates on the Executive Cohort Program!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This