Thursday, September 21st, 2017

The Top 10 U.S. Cities Leading the Way to Integrate Nature and Technology

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Although technology is often the first thing that comes to mind with smart city development, Smart Cities Guru Anil Ahuja contends that the smartest cities are taking a nature-driven approach to innovation. Ahuja today named 10 cities leading the way to integrate nature and technology. These cities, featured in the Smart Cities Guru Report also released today, are using a unique approach to green, healthy and innovative technologies for cities and making them smarter through the integration of nature.

“A smart city doesn’t just provide technology or economic solutions,” said Ahuja. “The smartest cities in the world are integrating nature to create a truly sustainable city. I have identified a number of cities in the United States that are excellent examples for other smart cities to model themselves after.”

Ahuja, a seasoned engineering professional and author of Integration of Nature and Technology for Smart Citiesbelieves blending nature and technology is a powerful combination that has the potential to enhance efficiency, reshape our communities and improve the quality of life.

Top Cities Integrating Nature and Technology:

  • Boston, MA – for engaging its citizens through crowdsourced mobile technology to enable smart government.
  • Chicago, IL – for leveraging data to make cities healthier, more efficient and more livable.
  • Los Angeles, CA – for leveraging big data, mobile and cloud based technologies to save energy and improve efficiency.
  • New York City, NY – a leader in leveraging real-time traffic information to reduce congestion, improve the flow of traffic and decrease carbon emissions.
  • Orlando, FL – for its approach to smart operation of transportation, security and emergency management and energy waste reduction programs.
  • Portland, OR – for investing in IoT sensor networks and leveraging smart agriculture applications and big data to benefit the local region.
  • San Diego, CA – for adopting the Climate Action Plan, that will improve public health and air quality, conserve water, and use current resources more efficiently.
  • San Francisco, CA – for multiple initiatives including waste reduction, electric car charging and building performance optimization.
  • Seattle, WA – a pioneer and leader for establishing and increasing adoption of green standards.
  • Washington, D.C. – a leader in smart mobility and ratio of park acres to citizens.

The cities were selected based on four factors key to a thriving, vibrant city:

    1. Social – quality of life. Does the city implement technology to optimize city opportunity, such as green roofs, green facades, bike lanes, healthy food markets, efficient healthcare facilities and biophilic design?
    2. Economic – quality jobs. Does the city attract and retain top-tier talent and attract high tech industries and investments?
    3. Environmental – quality air and water.  Does the city have adequate amounts of green space to improve air quality and the right green infrastructure to manage storm water runoff? How does the city utilize technology for more efficient water and energy usage?
    4. Technology – ease of communication.  Does the city utilize technology to speed up the flow of information?

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Anil Ahuja is a seasoned engineering professional and author of the recently released book Integration of Nature and Technology for Smart Cities, which explores trends and paradigms in the smart building and smart city sectors, and offers a new approach to green, innovative building and city design. Ahuja has more than 30 years of experience in sustainable building systems design, including the past 14 years as president of CCJM, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm providing infrastructure solutions to Smart Cities and Smart Building designs. 

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