Next generation cities

We all live in a European city where for the first time the aim is common and obvious for all residents. Less carbon emissions, friendlier means of transportation, “greener” development.

As technology evolves, the aim is more significant and could also be measurable. The fact that nowadays you get readings and real time numbers about energy consumption, bike crossings, air pollution, traffic spots, noise pollution, the aim becomes more reachable and more tempting as the target is not just an idea, but an achievable goal.

Cities and neighborhoods are adopting to that. Even architecture is adopting to that. It spontaneously comes to my mind, BIG’s waste energy building in Copenhagen, which is used in both ways: as a building that transforms waste into energy and then, it transmits the converted energy to the ski slope that “runs” on top of it. In that way the building is used for multiple purposes and reuses its own energy.

Building exteriors are also adopting to “second skin” smart technology facades.

And this keeps evolving to transportation. Nowadays, you get data about “smartest” routes, green paths, less traffic conjunction, parking areas. This is becoming a tool for urban strategies and planning for cities and municipalities through Urban Mobility Observatories (SUMPs). Most of the time, municipalities become more competitive to European funding for development when they collect and maintain this type of data.

One of the positive consequences of covid-19, is that the world is becoming more technology orientated, saving (or negating) transportation time, and as a result, reducing pollution.

Greece is adopting to the new era. The Municipality of Kalamaria is participating in multiple European programs, such as SUITS (Sustainable Innovation and Transportation), having initiated the “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan” to create an overall strategy concerning future bike lanes, green paths and alternative ways of transportation. Additionally, the city has started to implement a “Smart Cities” strategy, where technology meets public services. Finally, Kalamaria has started to design the positioning and placement of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle charging spots.

“Smart” cities are here, they are the next generation of cities where your mobile phone informs you for the fullness of the waste bin, the availability of the closer parking spot, the closest public wallbox to charge your PHEV or electric car, the position of your rent-a-bike or electric scooter and much much more…