Smart is the New Sustainable
EV World originally misidentified the speaker in this video as Robert Bryce. Our apologies to both Mr. Bryce and Mr. Shutkin. Mr. Bryce's video will be posted at a later date.
"Smart growth is resilient, adaptable, flexible," states William Shutkin at the 2010 Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar, held in La Jolla, California. "Smart is the new sustainable," he continues, noting that at the present, 50 percent of the world's population lives in cities, a number expected to rise to 80% over the next couple decades.
Critically, those same cities are responsible for 80 percent of the planet's carbon emissions. Shutkin points out that 20 of the largest mega-cities consume 75% of the world's energy. But smart city planning and growth policies can, through conservation and energy efficiency, immediately reduce this by 15 percent.
The challenge isn't just in Asia. America's population will increase to some 400 million by 2050; and by then the planet's population will be 'north' of 9 billion. Yet, this also represents an economic opportunity. He estimates that over next two years, over $120 billion will be invested in smart city development: everything from sewers to bridges. Over the next 20 years, as much as $30-40 trillion will be invested in smart urban growth as exemplified by Masdar City in the Arab Emirates and even in Dubuque, Iowa.
However, creating these smart cities will only happen through smart governance.
"We need big, bold, imaginative decision making," Shutkin counsels. "I see technology and engineering as the soft stuff. It is the social side that is the hard stuff." Yet it can be done, he notes, pointing to Korea as the current poster child on smart development, as exemplified by the smart planning that is taking place in Seoul, and in new planned cities going up around the country.
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