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Moving towards sustainable and resilient smart water grids: networked sensing and control devices in the urban water system

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Urban water systems face sustainability challenges ranging from water quality, leaks, over-use, energy consumption, and long-term supply concerns. Resiliency challenges include the capacity to respond to drought, managing pipe deterioration, responding to natural disasters, and preventing terrorism. One strategy to

Urban water systems face sustainability challenges ranging from water quality, leaks, over-use, energy consumption, and long-term supply concerns. Resiliency challenges include the capacity to respond to drought, managing pipe deterioration, responding to natural disasters, and preventing terrorism. One strategy to enhance sustainability and resiliency is the development and adoption of smart water grids. A smart water grid incorporates networked monitoring and control devices into its structure, which provides diverse, real-time information about the system, as well as enhanced control. Data provide input for modeling and analysis, which informs control decisions, allowing for improvement in sustainability and resiliency. While smart water grids hold much potential, there are also potential tradeoffs and adoption challenges. More publicly available cost-benefit analyses are needed, as well as system-level research and application, rather than the current focus on individual technologies. This thesis seeks to fill one of these gaps by analyzing the cost and environmental benefits of smart irrigation controllers. Smart irrigation controllers can save water by adapting watering schedules to climate and soil conditions. The potential benefit of smart irrigation controllers is particularly high in southwestern U.S. states, where the arid climate makes water scarcer and increases watering needs of landscapes. To inform the technology development process, a design for environment (DfE) method was developed, which overlays economic and environmental performance parameters under different operating conditions. This method is applied to characterize design goals for controller price and water savings that smart irrigation controllers must meet to yield life cycle carbon dioxide reductions and economic savings in southwestern U.S. states, accounting for regional variability in electricity and water prices and carbon overhead. Results from applying the model to smart irrigation controllers in the Southwest suggest that some areas are significantly easier to design for.

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2012

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Area‐Based Urban Renewal Approach for Smart Cities Development in India: Challenges of Inclusion and Sustainability

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Cities in the Global South face rapid urbanization challenges and often suffer an acute lack of infrastructure and governance capacities. Smart Cities Mission, in India, launched in 2015, aims to offer a novel approach for urban renewal of 100 cities

Cities in the Global South face rapid urbanization challenges and often suffer an acute lack of infrastructure and governance capacities. Smart Cities Mission, in India, launched in 2015, aims to offer a novel approach for urban renewal of 100 cities following an area‐based development approach, where the use of ICT and digital technologies is particularly emphasized. This article presents a critical review of the design and implementation framework of this new urban renewal program across selected case‐study cities. The article examines the claims of the so‐called “smart cities” against actual urban transformation on‐ground and evaluates how “inclusive” and “sustainable” these developments are. We quantify the scale and coverage of the smart city urban renewal projects in the cities to highlight who the program includes and excludes. The article also presents a statistical analysis of the sectoral focus and budgetary allocations of the projects under the Smart Cities Mission to find an inherent bias in these smart city initiatives in terms of which types of development they promote and the ones it ignores. The findings indicate that a predominant emphasis on digital urban renewal of selected precincts and enclaves, branded as “smart cities,” leads to deepening social polarization and gentrification. The article offers crucial urban planning lessons for designing ICT‐driven urban renewal projects, while addressing critical questions around inclusion and sustainability in smart city ventures.`

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2021-05-07