Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Here’s our mini documentary on the Rio project–and its potential for helping to transform cities by making them more responsive to citizens needs.

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Posted by: Antonina Axelrod
May 1, 2012
7:43 pm

I read this interesting article and felt that I should air some ideas for others to explore.

Social Behaviour Changes

24 hr cities working round the clock with rostered working / social / education / entertainment amenities – more efficient use of assets and amenities; this requires radical changes in social behaviour.

Multiple use assets – economically and environmentally sustainable living e.g, Offices and housing combined or in close proximity – leaves more community green spaces – provides greater communal safety – frees up more land for agricultural use – less environmental impact – less travel distances – less public transport need – more efficient use of assets and amenities. Communal style housing (serviced apartments) provided by the employer as a benefit..has endless benefits.

High density housing areas with generous communal green spaces, allowing for few private green spaces for small private function rostered / shared use.

Encourage shared use of assets e.g every household has a vacuum cleaner, washing machine, dishwasher, iron, lawnmower, trimmer etc etc the list is endless. Each of this assets are idle most of the time! Have communal amenities and facilities which could be shared and lead to more economical and environmentally sustainable living; maximising each assets use would rid of a lot of unnecessary duplicity.

Family members work in close proximity to each other – minimises travel, improves work / life balance.

Have large food preparation areas for communal eating – but needs to be more natural foods than processed foods to encourage healthy eating and to provide confidence to the consumer that the “fast-food” is healthy. These communal dining areas could minimise wastage by distributing the food to the needy. If the food industry is transformed into a necessary utilitarian service instead of a commercial / business model, there’d be less wastage, healthier eating habits leading to healthier lifestyle, improved community wellbeing, etc etc.

Concentrate facilities which are energy intensive in dedicated building precincts .e.g, food, technology where waste energy could be transformed more efficiently.

The reduction in community living over the generations has led to environmental deterioration and failure of the social fabric with subsequent loss of “sense of belonging”.

Transport Policy Changes

Provide public transport as a fringe benefit to staff to encourage more uptake; keep a pool of public travel passes for shared business use instead of individuals purchasing short trip tickets for each trip.

Personal electric bikes provided by employers to encourage uptake
Bicycles in cities available for free use – healthier living; provide tax incentives for cycling
High taxation for fossil fuel use

Reduce traffic lights in cities – Reduce road furniture and encourage shared use of streets in city centres; have a general rule that disabled users take priority over pedestrians over cyclists over motorbikes over cars over trucks etc. This then places an onus on everybody to take responsibility for their own safety. This has been trialled in several European cities and proven to improve safety and leads to a civilised sustainable city.

Roads with guide sensors to allow driverless travel – improved safety and more efficient energy use. Occupants could be more productive instead of driving.

Personal transport in cities can be linked to automated linkages to form trains of personal transport – reduced energy use as multiple vehicles generate energy which is shared. Small public transport vehicles on similar linkages to allow fluctuation of demand and shared energy use where the travel paths are common

Traffic lights with long range approach sensors which communicate across a large network to improve traffic flow and less stop / start situations

Technology advances

Have high powered laptops for all people instead of having multiple PC’s, laptops, tablets – additional cost can be easily offset by correct carbon pricing
Communication means – single mobile phone person – no landlines and no separate mobiles for business and personal use – provide mobile as a fringe benefit to staff – makes staff more accessible
Use mobiles and tablets, laptops and computers which harness solar energy through photovoltaic screens

Each personal mobile could trigger lighting instead of having all lights on all the time; this could be used in the street lighting and highway lighting arenas as well. Mobiles could also trigger thermal controls in buildings.

Transform waste energy e.g, heat generated in tunnels could be used for generating steam power; heat generated in engines could be transformed similarly to electrical energy. Vibration and noise energy from vehicles and dynamic structures could be transformed to electrical energy. The moving human body could be used to generate electrical energy for use in low powered devices.

Move refuse collection underground. Some cities are opting for underground pneumatic waste systems to collect refuse without the unsightly and foul-smelling cans and collection trucks we normally associate with waste collection. People using these pneumatic systems throw waste into inlets leading to a subterranean piping network. The pipes are emptied when a vacuum is created in the network, producing suction that moves the refuse to a collection station.

Electronic data on cloud services instead of personal hard drives – there are millions of drives with multiple copies of the same data – all these consume energy and materials

Solar solar and solar …why do less developed countries have more uptake of this technology than highly developed countries? Let’s not waste the energy provided for free by the world’s largest nuclear reactor!

Use geothermal energy from underground structures e.g long piles and deep basements and tunnels

Put all biodegradable waste through the sewage system so that methane generation at the treatment plant is maximised.

Policy changes

Carbon pricing should be based on carbon consumption rather than carbon production (eg, developing countries are penalised by producing consumables for developed countries).

Recycling is not as advanced as in developing countries – poverty actually has been driving thrifty and sustainable living more than the excess availability of choices. This is not advocating poverty, but demonstrating that where is a constraint and there is a will to overcome that constraint, innovative means are created.

All buildings should have garden roofs and walls with hanging gardens

Implementation of the above requires long term vision and leadership by someone or a group who can stand up and advocate that it “can be done” instead of being pressured by political correctness and short term political ramifications. Major changes only happen by revolutionary means led by visionary leaders to drive such changes from within large organisations by lobbying with similar sized and interest corporations.

Posted by: Manji Chhabhadia
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