Sustainability is a key and growing dimension of the smart cities conundrum. It is now generally agreed that cities will play a critical role in meeting sustainability objectives, due to their innate ability to offer services to large, dense urban populations ultra-effectively and with minimal environmental impact through a range of paradigms, such as the sharing economy, distributed micro-grids, carbon-neutral or -negative buildings, and extreme forms of waste management and recycling, ultimately leading to fully circular urban economies.
The dimension of circularity goes much further than what has been talked about so far in terms of sustainability in urban environments, such as zero-emission Electric Vehicles (EVs), air quality monitoring and control, and measures related to climate change. It is about turning entire cities into circular entities, eliminating their “outside of the city” footprints entirely by achieving large degrees of self-support and self-sufficiency in areas like energy generation.
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