Surging population growth in cities is not only challenging city leaders to find better ways to deliver transportation, energy, public safety and other municipal services, it’s also forcing them to deal with more garbage. The good news is that smart solutions are emerging in the solid waste management arena. Technologies are coming to market that can help cities collect and process waste more efficiently and recover valuable materials from the waste steam. In this chapter we examine how smart technologies are enabling cities to manage municipal solid waste (MSW) in an efficient and sustainable manner. As in other city responsibility areas, information and communications technologies (ICT) are driving many of these new solutions, particularly in the area of garbage collection. But scaled-up applications in the realm of biological and industrial engineering are also involved.
“More with less” is one of the promises of smart city technology -- and nowhere is this more true than in payments and finance. By leveraging the techniques explained in this chapter, city governments can spend less while offering citizens more benefits, more convenience and more inclusion. Today cities are the hub of world economic growth, generating an estimated 80% of global GDP, according to the World Bank. Yet many cities are severely challenged by rising (or slowing) population growth, by aging or inadequate infrastructure, by increasing operational costs and by “do more with less” austerity pressures.
Few people need to be reminded of water’s importance. Along with energy, it is essential for everyday life. Water provides sustenance, supports industry and irrigates fields. But city administrations are struggling to meet rising demand from growing populations while contending with issues such as water quality, flooding, drought and aging infrastructure.
Cities can’t function without energy. It fuels our cars, subways and trains. It cools, heats and lights our homes and businesses. It pumps our water and processes the food we eat. And it powers the technologies that are the foundation of a smart city. To ensure a smart energy future, cities and utilities must work together – regardless of whether the utility is part of local government or a private investor-owned utility that supplies the city’s energy.