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The Advent of Smart, Green Cities in Asia and Europe Shows Leadership for Copenhagen Climate Agreement

by Warren Karlenzig

songdo7.jpgSongdo International Business District, South Korea

On the eve of G-20 meetings this week in the heart of the United States, the momentum of climate change leadership is ironically taking shape in Asia and Europe.

That is borne out by new announcements on smart, green city programs, as well as other major developments coming from China and South Korea leading up to December's Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

Before I get to the wired city news, some relevant signs from the tea leaves of Asian political leadership:

Both China and South Korea are home to an emerging model of cities that are being planned with combined IT infrastructure and management systems that reduce carbon and resource use in construction, waste production, water and energy use, teleworking, transportation and mobility.

South Korea, in particular, is designing its national stimulus program and economic development strategy around the convergence of sustainability planning, IT innovation and energy usage.

It's not surprising that South Korea's largest development project, Songdo International Business District, optimizes low-carbon design with ubiquitous information technology.

In China, IBM announced last week an eco-city research center, which will feature a collaboration between the global technology provider and the national government on the latest IT-based water management systems and more.

China is also designing Eco City standards through its central government's Ministry of Housing, Urban-Rural Development; it is looking to such planning and management systems that can scale up to meet 350-400 million more people that its cities will house by 2020. China is said to be looking beyond reducing carbon emissions and water use: it is taking into account other macro design factors such as as climate change adaptation, including natural disaster risk. 

The developer of Korea's Songdo, Gale International, and Cisco also announced last month an agreement with China to develop a city district in Changsha, Hunan Province.

Meanwhile, the European Union is not sitting idle when it comes to wiring its cities for sustainability. After hosting a "Green and Connected Cities" session before The European Union's Committee of Regions last year (at which I addressed delegates), Europe announced last week it is putting significant investment into wiring and enabling 30 cities for advanced IT energy efficiency capabilities.

And the United States? Beyond Boulder, Colorado, which has recently implemented the model for the nation's first Smart Grid-connected city, looks like we will be spending our days leading up to Copenhagen mired in a decades-old health care debate while the rest of world is shaping a future of innovation.   

This piece originally appeared on Common Current's Green Flow

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Comments

Facing a sharp downturn in fossil fuels all over the world, the world-wide overpopulation growing consistently is using up tremendous fossil fuels at an alarming pace. Especially when the own conventional resources in some dense countries is facing drastic dent, it adds up explicitly.


For that reason, it is widely accepted that the price of fossil fuels is expected to go up and up simply, which is behind major states taking a bold and speedy action in a bid to put the global economy on a sustainable and solid ground.

Relying on worthless, painful and wasteful oil wars, namely, the original source of this great recession, to waste time bickering on meaningless things and drag feet on a defining energy bill are sure to shake the embryonic effect of stimulus package that is an interim measure for build-out of a new foundation.

As with "Inaction" cost, $9trillion over the next decade in health care and social security, supposedly the same is of inaction on the most-needed energy bill. For the global economy to reign in the runaway price of fossil fuels, sustainable option will be indispensable.

As the overall oil reserve in Middle East is on the decline more that known, the region blessed with affluent sun rays also needs to ready for a new groundwork, particularly in this context AEU is beginning to concentrate on future energy and Iranian EV is rolling out recently, the countries in the region will never stand still on the surge, that means no matter what the result is, the repetitious mistake at the cost of invaluable lives and gigantic spending will end up with a heartbreaking tragedy once again.

Presently, this great recession is pitching us a serious lesson to make sure we build a bridge for future generations, otherwise, our generation, too, is falling off the cliff for certain. Here I'd say only science and innovation can meet this challenge, and the science enough to weather this storm is awaiting final assembly by way of innovation. And I think the world is eagerly looking forward to Americans' participation, and if it were not for world-wide massive job creation, the world can not pull the economy out of the recession.

Thankfully and interestingly enough, 100s of Companies (with $13 Trillion) Are Demanding Strong Climate Deal in Copenhagen, and the report by Blair and the Climate Group, a London-based nonprofit organization, found a climate-change accord among all countries would spur economic growth and create as many as 10 million jobs by 2020.

Thank You !


Posted by: hsr0601 on 21 Sep 09

Car sales are expected to go up by 1 Billion in the next 10 years due to higher living standards in many countries. I do not think that we can call this a smart green world. If the corporations causing the problems now claim having the solutions i suspect something is going wrong here...


Posted by: Monald M on 22 Sep 09

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