Many of the world’s major cities are experiencing an accelerating transformation that points to a trend that can no longer be ignored. In order to provide a good quality of life for residents, cities must become smart and green. Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Hamburg are among the best smart and green cities in Europe, where they have become champions in implementing sustainable urban projects. Here are just 5 examples of such projects for real cities of the future.
- Neighborhood 20 minutes
How will city dwellers have easy access to shopping, education, health, cultural and sports activities, everything related to relaxation and getting to work in no time? What would it be like if all the things necessary for a smooth daily routine were located close to home, only 20 minutes away by public transport, bike or on foot?
The concept of “live 20 minutes” is gaining more and more ground around the world, and the pioneer is the Australian city of Melbourne. But Europeans are not. The mayor of Paris, for example, plans to turn the City of Lights into a “green” city. The mayor chose the famous Rue de Rivoli as a prototype for a futuristic green city, where Parisians would not have to walk or cycle for more than 15 minutes to work, shop or take care of administrative things.
- bike tower
In the context of the growing interest in sustainable urban mobility, projects have been intensified to transform cities in Europe and beyond into green cities. Alternative transportation was encouraged, dozens of kilometers of bike lanes were built and motorized parking facilities – BikeTowers – appeared. These fully automated systems are easy to manage and bring benefits to both local authorities and city residents.
When parked in such a space, the bikes are protected from theft and bad weather. The vertical bicycle stand also allows for storage of accessories (baby seat, shopping basket, helmet, reflective jacket, etc.). BikeTower is fully automated and available 24/7. Promoting cycling has positive effects on the health of city residents and reduced traffic and pollution. Cities get healthier and local authorities get many benefits: BikeTower is a smart investment with immediately noticeable results and can be funded with European funds. In addition, thanks to the interest in green city development, which is a modern business in Romania, BikeTower is a smart and green city solution available in the KADRA portfolio.
- Sponge City
In the past, most of the rural population collected rainwater. Today, rapid urban areas have experienced flooding due to blockage of the natural flow of rainwater, and it is concluded that intelligent stormwater management is absolutely necessary in major cities. The sponge city cleverly “sucks” rainwater and collects it and uses it to maintain green spaces, thus preventing flooding. This is something really practical in Shanghai, for example, where streets have been paved with a permeable material capable of absorbing rain, and excess water has been used to keep roofs and parks green.
- vertical forest
Vertical forests are no longer something completely new, but an innovative project increasingly chosen by architects. To solve the problem of pollution and lack of vegetation cover in megacities, vertical forests, along with other types of measures, seem to be a very effective solution. The best example of this is the famous Bosco Verticale in Milan. In 2008, the peninsula city was named the most polluted city in Europe. That same year, the city council began building two wooded skyscrapers, Bosco Verticals, the world’s most awarded environmental design project. In Romania, such buildings are found in Timisoara.
- Forests and urban parks
After centuries of urbanization that wiped out green spaces and replaced them with concrete and glass buildings, the importance of the “green lung” in improving the quality of life in cities has been rediscovered. In major cities around the world, more and more urban parks are being created, and the next step has been taken: planting new urban forests. Paris, for example, has set an ambitious goal of having 50% of the city’s land area covered by green space by 2030. New urban parks will be planted around the Eiffel Tower and on the Champs Elysees, and urban forests will be created near the Gare de Lyon, the Hôtel de Ville and the Opera Garnier.
All of these projects show that cities do not necessarily have to be polluted, crowded places with a very low quality of life. There are solutions to change this. It all depends on their smart management and implementation of projects that have the potential to fundamentally change the urban landscape.
On June 25 and 26, at the fourth edition of Smart Mobility Cluj 2022, KADRA, BikeTower, will present the smart solution for sustainable mobility.