SIDEWALK Toronto

Sustainability problem: Cities that were designed for a different workforce and technology landscape need to be upgraded to be more efficient, comfortable, safe, human and environment focussed.

They are designing a district in Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront to tackle the challenges of urban growth, working in partnership with the tri-government agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint venture, called Sidewalk Toronto, aims to make Toronto the global hub for urban innovation.

171012_Sustainability.pngTechnology:

They are deploying multiple technologies aimed at various segments of urban innovation. Such as:

  • Self-driving technology and digital navigation tools can give rise to a next-generation, point-to-point transit system that complements pedestrian, cycling, and bus or rail options to improve convenience, reduce costs, and enhance street safety.
  • Better data integration, combined with more accessible community hubs that offer a variety of local services, enable a comprehensive approach to social and community services that delivers better outcomes to people at lower cost.
  • At the core of a future city is a layer of digital infrastructure that provides ubiquitous connectivity for all, offers new insights on the urban environment, and encourages creation and collaboration to address local challenges.

And many more.

Stakeholders:

  • City government
  • District Mayors office
  • Departments of transportation, housing, industry, technology,
  • Citizens
  • Urban designers, planners, technology specialists

171012_Mobility

Next steps:

For now they have set up 3 main initiatives:

1. Sense: this is a pilot lab focussed on using data driven technology to makeintersections, parks and open spaces more valuable and safe. For instance, tech-enabled signals could slow down vehicle traffic if average car speeds at a given intersection exceeded 20 mph (the threshold at which collisions with pedestrians become more deadly) or if they recorded a high number of near-misses. They could also hold crosswalk signals to leave more time for children, the elderly, or the disabled. If combined with new alert systems, in-car systems, or V2X technology, they could also potentially give drivers a more direct warning of pedestrians or cyclists in the area.

2. Model: This pilot lab explores tools that helps communities build consensus on sustainability, affordability and transportation needs. For instance, When cities tackle transportation problems, they create simulation models in which travelers move about cities: going to work, dropping children off at school, running errands. These simulations are based on theories of traveler behavior developed and tested by academics and practitioners. For example, one theory posits that travelers consider every minute waiting for a bus about twice as annoying as every minute riding on a bus. These theories are tested and calibrated against survey data collected by the Census Bureau and local governments. Once the simulations do an adequate job of replicating what’s happening today, they modify model inputs to simulate what might happen five, 10, or 20 years from now. These inputs may include a new transit service or wider roadways or higher bridge tolls or myriad other policy and planning ideas. The goal is to learn how people may benefit from, or be burdened by, these changes.

3. Host townhall meetings for citizens to share their ambitions, visions and input for their district.

What really dug into my curiously lens was how such an integrated approach to sustainability in cities can be done, particularly in older cities/neighbourhoods.

Also curious about how cities that cannot afford the retrofitting fees that come with this, can still bring about change in perhaps smaller ways but keeping the overall vision in perspective.

https://www.sidewalklabs.com/

https://sidewalktoronto.ca/

Comment on another post: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/25/worlds-first-negative-emissions-plant/comment-page-1/#comment-1277

vk2384

 

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BIOMETRIC GUN LOCK

Sustainability Issues

As the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants people the right to keep and bear Arms, 40% of the American households own at least one gun for protection. However, these legally obtained firearms are often used by unauthorized users to commit crimes after they are stolen and lost. Statistically, people who kill other people with guns in America acquire only 3% of their guns at gun stores while the other 97% are obtained through other means. Thus, preventing unauthorized use of firearms become critically important to protect not just our families but other innocent people from gun violence.

Technology: Biometric Gun Lock 

  • Sentinl, a Detroit-based startup is designing a biometric gun lock called Identilock. Attaching to a gun’s trigger, it unlocks only when the owner applies a fingerprint.
  • The size, weight and functionality of IDENTILOCK won’t inhibit common storage and staging methods of firearms.
  • IDENTILOCK provides quick access to working firearms in a crisis scenario when the authorized user put his or her fingertips to the biometric sensor, just like unlocking your phone.
  • IDENTILOCK prevents the use and discharge of the firearm by unintended and unauthorized users.

Stakeholders 

  • Gun owners
  • National Rifle Association (NRA)
  • Firearm manufacturers and dealers
  • Legislative bodies at federal and state level

Deployment 

  • Identify compatibility and feasibility of installing the biometric gun to majority of handguns in the U.S.
  • Launched a pilot program with local law enforcement to test the prototype
  • Gain legislative support from federal and state level for gun lock related products
  • Sell them at firearm dealers as a optional but recommended part

 

Source:

https://getidentilock.com

https://www.wired.com/2014/05/sentinl-gun-lock/

UNI: MH3730

Solar Powered Aircraft

1) Energy & Waste: The aircraft industry contributes to 9% of the total CO2 emissions among the transportation sector in the United States. These emissions are expected to triple by 2050 without the establishment of policy regulations. Ultimately, alternative sources energy and a transition away from harmful pollutants into the atmosphere need to be developed to align environmental concerns with transportation demands. As such, Solar Impulse has developed to fully solar power aircraft to tackle the issue.

2) Technology:

  • The project took 12 years of research and development to come to fruition, resulting in a 2.3 ton aircraft with over 17,000 solar cells (23% energy efficient) that were each tested 3 times
  • The PV cells are protected from UV radiation with a polymer film and many of the components are made with carbon fiber and alveolate foam in a honey comb structure
  • It consists of multiple lightweight characteristics such as led lights and structural components, solar cells, energy dense batteries, energy efficient electric motors (97% efficient), and thermal insulation
  • The aircraft has the capacity for only one pilot at a time and is composed of an unheated and unpressurized cockpit measuring 3.8 cubic meters

3) Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Engineers and designers at Solar Impulse
  • Aircraft carriers
  • Customers for transportation needs (potentially)

4) Deployment:

  • Conduct further test runs of the technology to boost accuracy and make improvements
  • Invest in more R&D and materials evaluations for increase the size/capacity of individual aircrafts
  • Incorporate innovations in battery storage and solar energy conversion to drive efficiency and product reliability

5) Student Comment: 

https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/06/affordable-and-mobile-alpod-house-bt2443/comment-page-1/#comment-1225

Sources: 

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/products_design/caitlin_kauffman/world%E2%80%99s_first_solar-powered_plane_making_its_way_aro

http://www.solarimpulse.com/

https://www.c2es.org/federal/executive/epa/reducing-aircraft-carbon-emissions

 

Dominic Bell (dlb2189)

Can crows be trained for cleaning using technology?

In this piece, they are attempting to train crows in the Netherlands to pick up cigarette filters from the streets in order to keep them clean. However, if successful, it could potentially be applied to any other material, like plastic bags and so on.

Sustainability Problem:

Cleanliness on streets and segregating it for re purposing. With growing cities and population sizes, its an issue being faced by almost every large city in the world today.

In the Netherlands alone, over 6 Billion cigarette filters are thrown around the country. Cigarette filters are made up majorly of fibers which clog sewage systems and do not easily decompose.

Technology:

Inspired by a TED talk which demonstrated how crows can be trained to connect coins in exchange for food, they decided to apply this principle to clean up cigarette filters. The founders of ‘Crowded Cities’ based in the Netherlands have designed a product called the Crowbar, which essentially delivers some food to a crow once it drops a cigarette filters which is verified by a computerised source with a camera.

crows-cigarette-butts-4.png

 

  1. First the crows pick it up and drop it in the funnel shaped container below.
  2. The item is recognised with a camera and if its a cigarette filter, the device spits out crow food.
  3. It is their hope that the crow shares his/her experience with others and feed themselves by word of mouth.

 

 

Stakeholders:

  • Founders of the company
  • Department of Sanitation, or its equivalent
  • City Government
  • Recycling centres
  • Cigarrete smokers
  • Crows

Implementation:

crows-cigarette-butts-2.jpg

  • Although they are yet to put out the product ‘Crowbar’ in the field, they are current testing out their design and optimising it.
  • Building partnerships with the city and recycling centres would be valuable once the device is placed on ground.

As I mentioned earlier, this is an innovative application that can be useful for a variety of items beyond cigarette filters. It is utilising the learning capabilities of crows within a simple reward system and suitable technology.

Sources:

https://newatlas.com/crows-cigarette-butts/51683/

http://www.crowdedcities.com/

 

 

Comment on another post: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/18/improving-resiliency-of-concrete-structures-with-recycled-tires/comment-page-1/#comment-1220

World’s First and Largest Vacuum Air Cleaner #BT2443

1. Air pollution is the primary source of thousands of diseases and damages of the spacious of the planet earth and the largest source of the current global warming issue.

2. The Technology:
-Smog Free tower world’s first and largest air purifier (smog vacuum cleaner) is not only solving the air pollution, safety, and healthcare issue but also building awareness within the society through their jewelry with the Smog Diamond.
-The Dutch artist and innovator, Daan Roosegaarde believing that his creation will solve the issue of the billions of people’s rights to clean breath air.
– By sharing a Smog Free Ring, you donate 1000 m3 of clean air to the city. In 2017, Roosegaarde presents a new addition to Smog Free Project: the Smog Free Bicycle.
-Already working with one of the most polluted cities like Beijing and Shanghai

3. Stakeholders:
– State Governments
– City Governers
– Financial Institutions
– Citizens of the polluted cities
– Private sectors

4. Deployment:

– Collaborate with the government organizations and establish a long-term contract for the clean air projects investment using the smog-free tower.
– Educate citizens towards air pollution and harms
– Promote brand and using their nitch solving a worldwide issue through art and technology

Sources:

1.https://www.google.com/search?q=smog+free+tower&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8pvr39LbWAhWp54MKHQ3CB9k4ChD8BQgMKAM&biw=1280&bih=624&dpr=2#imgrc=t4XNoainG8DIQM:
2. http://smartcityhub.com/sustainability/multiple-smog-free-towers-developed-across-parks-china/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution
4. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/pollution/
5. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/02/the-best-and-worst-countries-for-air-pollution-and-electricity-use
6. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/daan-roosegaarde-smog-free-project
7. https://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/smog-free-project/info/

 

Bladeless wind turbines for the future

  1. Sustainability Problem: Alternative energy is already being incorporated into the world’s energy mix. However, many people are still unsatisfied by its performance. A major problem is the balance between cost and efficiency. So, what can we do to address that?

  2. Vortex offers a less intrusive and more efficient wind turbine design by incorporating the scientific principles of natural frequency and vorticity. The turbine generates power by oscillating in swirling air caused by the wind bypassing the mast. Some advantages of this technology are:
    • Lower costs – no gears or bearings, reducing maintenance and manufacturing costs
    • Respectful of nature – no lubrication needed, noiseless, less carbon footprint
    • Accessibility – no energy and no training is required to operate
    • Scalability – lower height wind turbines available for micro power generation

Sources:

Vortex

http://www.vortexbladeless.com/

Can bladeless wind turbines mute opposition? | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/01/can-bladeless-wind-turbines-mute-opposition

The future of wind turbines could be bladeless | CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/29/the-future-of-wind-turbines-could-be-bladeless.html

Vortex .Bladeless Wind Generator.

  1. Stakeholders:
    • Energy players
    • Wind energy market
    • Financial Industry
    • Technology Industry
    • Utility companies
    • Consumers all over the world
  2. Next steps:
    • Demonstrate feasibility by conducting field tests for micro and macro scale power generation
    • Introduce this innovative technology to the market by establishing partnerships and investing in outreach
    • Quickly and efficiently scale up the solution to a mass market

 

By: Timothy Wiranata

UNI: tw2618

 

Comments on Improving access to medical supplies with drones

“A very interesting concept indeed. I am hopeful that this will be the future of shopping, where drones deliver everything to our homes. However, the constraint right now is the drone technology itself. In cities with developed infrastructure, the drones will need to have a top-notch maneuvering ability to avoid buildings. Although your post is focused towards cities with less developed infrastructure, this can prove to be the next challenge.”