Image 172 Smart City Expo Wrold Congress 2012, what was exhibited on the environment (II): climate change

At the end of last year I had the opportunity to attend the Smart City Expo World Congress, organized by Fira de Barcelona, ​​to produce a series of articles on the environment and energy that synthesized the most relevant aspects of each session.

The thematic sessions on the environment at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2012 revealed that the city can stop being a mere consumer center of natural resources to provide a series of environmental services that contribute to improving the environment both urban as natural. Considering the complete life cycle of products or applying new technologies to learn more about the processes that operate in the city are some examples of actions that should be promoted to establish the smart city. Challenges such as climate change or efficient water management can see in this city of the future a good tool with which to configure solutions that make urban metabolism sustainable

It is worth reviewing the ideas and thoughts that the different speakers presented in 2012 to keep us up to date with a view to holding the next 2013 edition (from November 19 to 21).

Climate change, one of the main environmental problems of our era that directly affects cities, was another of the major issues discussed during the celebration of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2012. Cities, large consumers of energy, generate a high percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is why their active participation is essential for the implementation of mitigation actions. On the other hand, the negative impacts that are already taking place call attention to the adaptation strategies that cities must adopt to face, for example, the increase in average temperature or increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

Cities’ adaptation to climate change should be a priority for the coming years given the expected negative impacts of climate change

Joane Boulle, head of climate change in the department ofeThekwini (South Africa), explained how for cities like Durban, which are highly vulnerable, adaptation to climate change stands as a priority. Adaptation is not something very easy to define, especially when addressing the local population, so it is important to develop pilot projects that work on education and environmental awareness.

Regarding mitigation, from Copenhagen Jørgen Abildgaard, responsible for climate change, presented the city’s plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, introducing a combination of renewable energy technologies together with a joint public-private financing strategy.

Joane Boulle, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department eThekwini (Durban), South Africa.