When it comes to environment-friendly solutions, smart cities all over the world are a great inspiration. Such innovations might be implemented in smaller cities, like Annecy, making it friendlier to the local citizens and cutting expenses. It also makes the city more attractive to the tourists. In addition, wisely adapted solutions solve city's own problems and help protect local environment, preventing pollution and saving natural resources. Here are a few examples of interesting smart technologies.
In the Dutch municipality of Heerhugowaard 200 household take part in a project called Energie Koplopers (Energy Frontrunners). The goal of this project is to balance demand and supply of energy, by implementing a smart energy system. Each of the households receives a set of solar panels and a smart device. The device is connected to the smart energy system via Internet and is switched on or off, accordingly to the energy demand, calculated by the system. The excess of energy may be sold further by the supplier, reducing the energy bills in the households. Through various apps the participants have insight into their consumption and the state of the device.
In a neighbourhood of Buiksloterham, a residential area in the north of Amsterdam, a New Sanitation System is being introduced. It is a system in which waste water is processed locally in bio refinery, a treatment unit where energy in the form of low-temperature heating or biogas and raw materials, such as phosphate, can be recovered. To the contrast, traditional waste water treatment plant only consumes energy. The bio refineries will increase drinking water savings, decrease emissions of pollutants and in the future the wastewater treatment products might be used in household heating systems. For participants of this projects, that means lower water bill and more savings.
An Automated Vacuum Waste Collection System, in which waste is transported in underground tubes and compacted, is already implemented in thousand of cities around the world - like Stockholm, Gujarat, Riyadh, Beijing, Sao Paolo. Users throw the waste into ordinary bins, which are emptied at regular intervals, governed by control system in the waste collection stations. The system has many advantages - collection vehicles become unnecessary, unpleasant odours are eliminated, waste disposal costs are lower, carbon emissions is reduced. It is also able to collect separately different types of waste, including batteries, light bulbs and electronic equipment.