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Smart Cities and Sustainable Buildings

Urbanisation is a non-ending phenomenon.

Today, about 50% of people worldwide live in cities, a proportion that’s expected to reach 66% of the 9.7 billion people on the planet by 2050. Combined with the overall population growth, urbanisation will add another 2.5 billion people to cities over the next 30+ years. Good governance as well as environmental, social, and economic sustainability is a must to keep pace with this rapid expansion that impacts our cities’ resources.

Smart cities put data and digital technology to work to make better decisions and improve the quality of life. More comprehensive, real-time data gives agencies the ability to watch events as they unfold, understand how demand patterns are changing, and respond with faster and lower-cost solutions. It is estimated that smart cities would save up to 125 hours of every urban resident each year.

As cities get smarter, they are becoming more livable and more responsive – and today we are seeing only a preview of what technology could eventually do in the urban environment. Different combinations of technological infrastructure interact to form the array of smart city technologies with varying levels of interaction between human and technological systems.

Nowadays technology is being injected more directly into the lives of residents. Smartphones have become the keys to the city, putting instant information about transit, traffic, health services, safety alerts, and government and community news into millions of hands.

Transforming our cities to be smart is an investment for the future, designed with the purpose to address the ever-changing needs of residents. It’s not just about technology for technology’s sake. While the returns on investment may not always be financial, the benefits found in reduced energy consumption, increased productivity, improved security, and improved sustainable outcomes will all be invaluable in enhancing its residents’ quality of life.

Sustainable, or green, buildings are becoming an integral part of the smart city. Designed to be ecologically correct by using resources efficiently, using internal recycling, renewable energy sources, recyclable or biodegradable construction materials, and blending in with the local environment, their aims are to be occupant friendly, to reduce to a minimum the environmental impact, and to take human health factors into consideration.

In order to comply with the requirements of a smart city, exiting buildings can be retrofitted to optimise energy and water efficiency, and minimise waste.

Ainira’s international teams can assist owners, developers, builders and architects with modern, comprehensive design, master planning, engineering and architecture of Sustainable Buildings and, at a larger scale, entire components or districts of a Smart City.

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