Zero Waste Plans are the solution for smart cities

1. What is the social or environmental issue being addressed? Waste

CERO Cooperative is simultaneously addressing the problem of landfills receiving organic material, which generates methane and contributes to global warming and the challenge to find green jobs with acceptable wages and working conditions.

2. How is this being addressed?

CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is a commercial composting company providing effective commercial composting services:

  • Providing food diversion and pickup services for commercial clients
  • Transporting food scraps to local farms, where they are recycled into nutrient-rich compost products used to support the local agrucilture economy
  • Helping creating quality jobs for local community members, primarily immigrants and people of color
  • Prioritizing reasonable reasonable pricing to clients by a more direct and efficient process, saving their customers over $400,000 in trash hauling expenses

CERO Cooperative offers a unique business model in which every employee is also part owner. 

#sustainability #zerowaste #compost #watemanagement #mm5860

Source: “5 Reasons Why Your City Should Have a Zero Waste Plan” Next City, October 2020

3. Stakeholders

City leaders are responsible to pivot away from current systems and invest in zero waste, which would safeguard public health, create good jobs, build local economies and fight climate change.

Big companies to engage in these programs as main clients and waste generators. They will not only see theis cost decrease but will also be helping to a circular and green local economy.

Communities in general need to advocate and push their leaders to take part in these initiatives.

4. Next steps

  1. Create the channels: adapt regulation, form local cooperatives and build composting facilities
  2. Engage the stakeholders: require big companies in each community to engage and contact with local farmers
  3. Coordinate the whole system.

State of Connecticut launches IT Optimization Process

  1. Sustainability Issue: Safety and Health. Currently there is no strong centralized team of IT experts to support State agencies and the public in Connecticut. In addition there is public demand for up-to-date technology especially in schools and hospitals. Technology has become a central need that we have seen especially through the aftermath of COVID-19.
  2. Name of technology solution: Through a press release in March of 2021 Governor Lamont of CT announced a plan to build a new information technology organization within the state government to deliver modern IT solutions to support state agencies and the public.
  3. Stakeholders who will be using this technology:
    • Government agencies, IT professionals supporting this new infrastructure, professionals that will need to manage this hardware, security, networks and storage. Agencies that will need to migrate their systems as a result of this plan, state-based collaboration to serve these enterprise platforms, the residents of Connecticut who will be a part of this change and hopefully benefit as a result of this economic and job growth. The state data center security is a priority.
  4. According to the articles related to this plan – this will be a year long process to build this new iT hub for state agencies. Once this is built the process to centralize will lead to the required collaboration with IT professionals, and the appropriate training to the professionals dedicating their services to work on a common platform that will communicate across State agencies instead of individual agency by agency processes. Third step will involve the training, roll-out and maintenance for this. The funding will also need to be allocated towards where the needs are. I’m also curious to see how this impacts low-income areas in Connecticut and school systems?

Another thing we have to consider is, will this proposal actually make the services for residents and employees more accessible and digital? Will this investment allow for quicker services at places that need it to the most like the DMV or voter registration? How will the follow-up be for this – how will it be measured, and will ordinary residents see the effects of this in their day-to-day lives?

Anti-Solar Panels

Solar Energy At night: Currently when the sun goes down, Solar panels cannot generate energy

Technology Solution Anti Solar Panels

  • It uses heat radiating off the Earth’s surface.
  • Can work 24/7 rather than if the Suns out
  • Cost effective for Business to switch to Renewable Energy
  • Could increase solar farm energy production by 12%

Stakeholders

  • Public
  • Industrial companies
  • Energy Companies
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Government

Deployment/Implementation

  • Provide this technology to industrial companies to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Provide government grants for business who convert to Anti-Solar Panels
  • Provide incentives for companies to implement this technology

Sources

https://www.altenergymag.com/article/2020/02/new-solar-technology-could-generate-power-at-night/32697

Sustainability Problem: Solar

Sustainability Problem: Solar

  • Better solution for solar energy if land cost is to high
  • Better usage of water space that would otherwise be unused
  • An efficient way to use of space
  • Can coexist with hydroelectric plant

Stakeholders

  • Public
  • Solar-energy Companies
  • Water-energy Companies
  • Government
  • Mooring & Anchoring Vendors
  • Floating Structures Vendors

Deployment/ Implementation

  • Private Public Partnership
  • Hoover Dam
  • Off of reservoirs
  • Buy in from Locals
  • Government funding

Sources

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-state-of-floating-solar-bigger-projects-and-climbing-capacity

The French start plans to develop a 19 seat Electric Regional Aircraft

  1. Sustainability problem:
    • Energy sector
    • The problem is that aircrafts contribute to the ecological footprint of our world and reducing that with electrification and improved mobility is an important game-changer to the way we travel.
    • This particular issue is similar to the one Annie shared in class from Lilium regarding electric taxis in Florida, however this is a French-based company that’s trying to develop a 19 seat electrically powered regional and eco-efficient aircraft in Europe.
  2. AKKA is a leading European engineering consultant and leader in R&D services. Source: https://www.akka-technologies.com/press-release/akka-announces-its-partnership-with-aura-aero-to-develop-two-electric-aircrafts/ Name of technology: ERA (Electric regional aircraft) a 19 seat regional airliner
    • In a two year collaboration with Toulouse-based manufacturer AURA AERO, AKKA is supporting the development of two new electric aircrafts, one of which is being discussed in this post: ERA.
    • AKKA is going to mobilize 40 engineers from their group to its Toulouse based Engineering and Aviation centers to provide research and development support to AURA AERO.
    • The president and co-founder of AURO AERO announced in this same article the people-centric importance of achieving this technology goal which would further contribute to the future of aviation.
  3. Organizational stakeholders that will have to use this technology:
    • AKKA will be supporting AURO AERO by contributing to the build of ERA; this includes the 40 engineers deployed to work on this project.
    • Jeremy Caussade, president and co founder of AURO AERO and Stephanie Latieule who is the SVP of Aerospace at AKKA France, will need to continuously strengthen and support each other in their partnership via management decisions in order to see this project through.
    • The success of this project will also affect worldwide industrial players across different sectors.
  4. First three steps in deploying this technology:
    • The right funding and support is already in place so first, the engineers will need to build this technology over the two year partnership.
    • Second the aircraft will have to go through the necessary assessments and approvals to prevent any inadvertent failures and be ready for initiation.
    • Third will be making sure the right infrastructure is in place to test flight to and from one region to another.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

1. Problem: Outdated Metering Infrastructure 

The electricity sector is approximately 25% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions. Outdated energy infrastructure generates damaging environmental impacts with higher energy costs. Residential and commercial customers lack visibility of their energy consumption. Antiquated systems provide inaccurate meter readings that impact billing and generate operational and energy inefficiencies. As electric vehicle adoption increases alongside distributed energy generation sources, new measurement infrastructure is needed to prevent the grid from being overloaded. Utilities play a critical role in decarbonization yet face many challenges. 


2. Solution: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) 

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) enables utilities to gain visibility of energy usage to make more informed decisions and meet customer demand. AMI enables utilities to predict outage risk and respond faster. AMI also provides customers more control over electricity consumption with new tools and techniques. Features include:

— Near real-time smart grid predictive management of energy supply and demand. 
— Edge computing over 5G networks to provide scalable IoT cloud integration. 
— Advanced streaming analytics with AI that collects and reacts to energy data. 
— Energy insights surfaced on a dashboard to inform data-driven decisions. 
— Platform to trade electricity among customers and provide energy services.

Smart Meters 

Smart meters are electronic devices that measure energy use with data captured in 15-minute intervals. This data is securely sent to portals that can be accessed by customers and utilities. As smart meters are widely adopted, utilities can provide customers energy at the lowest cost and lowest environmental impact. ConEdison is installing 5 million smart meters over the next year. 

3. Stakeholders

Key constituents in the AMI and smart meter ecosystem include:

— Utilities: ConEdison in New York, PG&E in California, and Oncor in Texas are examples of utility companies that provide AMI solutions and smart meters to customers.  
— Technology Providers: Companies such as IBM provide AMI cloud services and Siemens develop smart meters used by utility companies. 
— Commercial and Complex Billing Customers: These customers gain insights on cost and usage trends. This includes tracking consumption to uncover energy efficiency opportunities. 
— Residential Customers: These customers track near real-time energy usage with comparison to similar homes and saving tips.
— Electric Vehicle Charging Companies: Charging stations integrate AMI and smart meters to collect and share energy consumption data with utilities.
— Policymakers: Federal and State politicians impact the financing of energy budgets and the rollout of programs that promote AMI and smart meters. 


4. Implementation

Once a residential, commercial, or complex billing customer decides to get a smart meter, the following steps are taken:

1. The customer contacts the utility company to request smart meter installation availability.  
2. Once eligibility is confirmed, an approved vendor completes the installation on location. 
3. Approximately 2 weeks after installation, customers access tools on their account dashboard. 
4. Near real-time usage, comparison, and analysis data surface energy efficiency opportunities. 


Sources 
— Enable an advanced metering infrastructure. IBM: https://www.ibm.com/industries/energy/solutions/smart-metering
— Smart Meter Features and Benefits. ConEdison: https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/how-will-a-smart-meter-help-me
— Sources of Greenhouse Gases. EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Carboard to Products Technology

Sustainability Problem: Waste

Cardboard: To create new cardboard from old cardboard, it uses 75 percent of the energy that would be needed to start from the beginning. If 1 ton of cardboard is recycled, it saves 46 gallons of oil. In the United States, 90% of the products shipped are packaged in cardboard. The transit cost for the recycling loops comes at a high price, and cardboard has a low value. 

Technology Solution

Carboard to Products Technology(CTP): The CTP technology has state of the art defibering method combined with an innovative mineral-based composite that can produce a wide variety of degradable feedstock materials. This is the only technology that converts cardboard into other products without recycling, landfilling, or incineration centers. Currently, the CTP technology is being used for Soil conditioners, garden mulch, goods packaging materials, and bedding material for odor control in livestock farms.

Stakeholders

  • Public
  • Pact Renewables PTY LTD.
  • Government
  • Landfills Companies
  • Recycling Centers

Deployment/Implementation

Marketing: The marketing strategy should target industries and companies that could benefit from this technology. Age groups from 18-35 on social media platforms because of their better understanding and benefits of becoming more sustainable.

Investors: Since cardboard waste is in ample supply without many technologies with a cost-benefit solution, CTP shouldn’t be hard to pitch to investors.

Identify locations: It is critical to build facilities that implement this technology near the high density of cardboard waste to minimize transit costs and maximize the profit margin.

Sources

https://www.recycleacrossamerica.org/recycling-facts

https://www.pactrenewables.com/cardboardchallengeandsolutions

https://www.pactrenewables.com/cardboard-to-productsctp

https://www.pactrenewables.com/cardboardcontainingproducts

https://www.recycleacrossamerica.org/recycling-facts

Smart Cities – Ho-hum; Let’s Step it Up with Art and Culture Based Climate Action

Even if global greenhouse gas emissions were cut to required levels to keep temperature rise below 2°C this century, the cost between 2010 and 2050 of adapting to an approximately 2°C warmer world by 2050 is in the range of $75 billion to $100 billion a year, according to a recent World Bank report.  Making cities smarter so these financial goals can achieved is essential but ensuring redevelopment and adaptation plans are sustainable requires incorporating various types of intelligence.  In the face of significant pending funding gaps we need visionaries and artists to come forth and bring onto the stage all they can to paint the town green!

New and additional financing options will be required for adaptation measures to succeed and the cities that learn how to engage their citizens will achieve these goals more efficiently and economically.  Those that don’t, well, chances are high they will continue with the same ho-hum approaches used to date to make smart cities.

“For all the talk about smart cities a lot of dumb stuff happens in cities,” says Klaus Philipsen.  “Chicago can’t get a grip on police violence, Flint poisons its citizens with municipal water, Washington DC’s Metro subway is befallen by a series of mishaps and Baltimore can’t count its primary votes so that the State has to de-certify the election results…”

Thinking is good, feeling is essential, but action engages citizens and raises awareness while also creating new climate raising tools.  Smart cities are seeing green artists come alive and push the parameters of what it means to be artistic.  A rising tide of these artists are acting in support of the public good and municipalities that learn to leverage art and culture as a technology for change will find themselves designing and building burgeoning epicenters to only further artistic and cultural energy.  Action like this will not only raising intelligence but also capital as it enables citizens to participate in the process of setting goals, establishing policies, and empowering municipalities to meet their climate change adaption ambitions.

Urban dwellers for the most part don’t currently see what it means to be a smart city.  Providing interactive based responses through data collection means but then also exhibiting it in an artful way will activate intelligence and raise municipal goals beyond touting what the best or the healthiest city is.  In fact, municipalities that pause, reset, and stop looking to make the Human Development Index (HDI) list will take their focus where it needs to be: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  There are 17 SDGs and all the 193 countries represented at the United Nations have agreed to try and achieve them.  Thankfully we are no seeing innovative cities are following this momentum and in particular one goal – Goal 11 –  specifically aims to build cities that are “inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”  This level of sustainability comes when art, community, and the spirit of climate action is kept alive in a city plan but not in the traditional sense, a whole new level of engagement through the promotion of art and culture is required to achieve climate action.

  • SAMPLES OF ART, CULTURAL & INITIATIVE “TECHNOLOGIES”
    • The Gates – 7,503 “gates” along 23 miles of paths in Central Park, NYC.
    • Stone River – 128 ton sculpture at Stanford University made from salvaged  buildings toppled in the 1906 & 1989 San Francisco earthquakes
    • The Mining Project – aerial photography of impacted sites in the United States transformed by water reclamation, logging, military tests, and mining
    • Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts – the intersection of environmental balance, social equity, economic stability, and cultural infrastructure
    • Project Save Our Surf – collaborations with non-profit organizations to educate and raise awareness about ocean pollution
    • World of Threads Festival – art installations questioning the notions of sustainability and vulnerability
    • Agricultural Compositions –  turning fields of human waste and pollution into colorful landscapes
    • Alliance of Artists Communities – exploring organizational sustainability and applying it to artist residencies
    • Pathway to Paris – a collection of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, innovators bound together in fighting for climate justice
  • ABBREVIATED IMPLEMENTATION STEPS
    • Establish alignment of municipal protocols with the SDGs
    • Create multiple intelligent based city policies – holistic based endeavors
    • Establish artistic residency programs and event-based climate education goals
    • Engage citizens in educational and experiential arts and cultural practices
    • Engage private and public sector companies for sponsorships
    • Build neighborhood based spin-off programs to localize experience
    • Demonstrate to the world what has worked and not
    • Start again, improve, and keep targets on 2050 SDGs
  • KEY STAKEHOLDERS
    • City Planners & Urban Designers
    • Public & Private Foundation Donors
    • EcoArt and Environmental Artists
    • Citizens

Smart Urban Growth Tackles Mobility and Electricity Distribution Concurrently

Cities can get smart taking control of their electrical grid and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure as a means of addressing urban growth.  Boulder, Colorado is making a run at it but few outside Germany have taken a serious move in this direction for it requires a long-term vision.  Seeking this urban planning route is not always initiated for economical reasons.  Boulder, for instance, is driven to engage as a means of increasing renewable energy sources in their electricity generation fuel mix.  Here’s the catch, this approach may not a scalable or sustainable solution for all cities  Mega cities; no way anytime soon.  Rural environments; not likely ever needed.  So, Boulder just happens to sit in the Goldilocks Zone but even with it being “just right” the increasing digitalization of the electric grid and new sources of distributed energy will make this endeavor a tenuous pursuit.

Years ago I was involved in dozens of negotiations with municipalities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Many desired to “take control” of and then offer, as a public service, wireless Internet services for their citizens.  The complexities in equipment management and selection, maintenance, and budgeting were often solely regarded in the context of whether to make the WiFi a free or a for a fee amenity to subscribers.  Thing is, that’s not where the root challenge existed.  Even a little bit of education in these matters achieved a stakeholder stalemate for trying to figure out how to convert a privatized service into a public good without causing bias to an ongoing free market was no simple matter.  The concept of a public-private partnership was alien.

Dealing with increasing urbanization today requires a systemic stakeholder analysis and just the right sitting of pilot efforts in advance of any at-scale execution plans.  To date few cities have taken this approach but Toronto, Canada is on the way.

“...We are designing a district in Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront to tackle the challenges of urban growth…Sidewalk Toronto will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centered neighborhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunities” – Sidewalk Labs

To do as Sidewalk Labs proposes there must be an integration of technologies, policies, and financial mechanisms that allow for private and public implementation plans to surface, ones in service of many stakeholders.

  • SAMPLE TECHNOLOGIES AT PLAY
  • IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES
    • Analyze long-tailpipe electricity generation fuel mixes
    • Promote EVs and pilots ONLY in cities that have clean fuel sources
    • Establish population growth and transport demand metrics
    • Conduct customer interviews to fit future needs
    • Create intelligent city policies to cater to DER and EV microgrids
    • Engage private-sector electric mobility companies
    • Educate citizens on mobility and clean energy options
    • Build neighborhood based pilots
    • Engage citizens via engagement workshops for updates
    • Prepared to pivot for at-scale execution
  • STAKEHOLDERS TO ENGAGE
    • City Planners & Urban Designers
    • Public Entities and Administrators
    • Private Technology Providers
    • EV Manufacturers & Infrastructure Providers
    • Load Balancing Software Solution Providers
    • Private and/or Public Electric Utilities
    • Citizens

 

JMB2408 COMMENT TO ANOTHER BLOG POST (Leaf Plates):

This is an excellent solution to consumption and in turn waste. If this was a compostable solution that can be put to use in the local houseplant or compost pile then we’re talking about a dream conversion in consumption to waste. The other thing that would be amazing is to see this scale to shipping boxes or other high consumption transport items. Awesome find, thanks for sharing.

New Textile Technology Makes Leather Alternative From Discarded Pineapple Leaves

1. Sustainability problem: leather production

The textile industry produces a lot of leather. The production of leather is extremely resource-intensive (water, land, food, fuel) and produces large amounts of waste, including toxic chemicals used in tanning. Faux leather (e.g., made from PVC) is another prevalent material and is not a sustainable material either as its production and disposal release a lot of toxic materials into the environment.

Category: Waste

2. Technology Summary

Source: “63-Year-Old Designer Creates Faux Leather From Pineapple Leaves”, Greenmatters (http://www.greenmatters.com/living/2017/10/19/Z1Y0sHm/63-year-old-designer-creates-faux-leather-from-pineapple-leaves)

  • This article discusses a materials technology innovation called Piñatex, which is a material made from discarded pineapple leaves and serves as an alternative to leather and faux leather
  • As pineapple leaves are a crop by-product, creating the material is not resource intensive, requiring no additional water, land, fertilizer, or fuel to make the material
  • Sourcing pineapple leaves from pineapple farmers also provides these farmers with an additional revenue stream
  • The resulting material can be mass-produced and used for virtually everything that leather could be used for, including apparel, shoes, bags, car seats, and upholstery
  • This material is produced in a closed loop process, starting with sourcing the pineapple leaves directly from farmers, returning any waste products during production to pineapple farms to be used as fertilizer, and composting piñatex materials at the end of a product’s life

Tags: #textiles #materialsresearch #fashion #sustainability #closingtheloop #cradletocradle

3. Stakeholders

Piñatex is currently only distributed in a brand-to-brand (B2B) format. Therefore, the key stakeholders are companies that currently design products with leather or faux leather. Specifically, design teams would need to learn about the material and design with this material in mind.

End customers are another stakeholder as they could drive demand for this material, asking companies to include this material in their collections in the future.

4. Deployment Strategy

  1. Proactively send samples to key companies that design with leather and/or faux leather and have sustainability goals, e.g., Eileen Fisher (fashion), Veja (shoes), Matt and Nat (bags), Tesla (car seats), etc.
  2. Build relationships with fabric retailers in cities with large fashion industries (e.g., New York City, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, etc.)
  3. Explore partnering with pineapple farmers in other parts of the world to increase production and reduce the carbon footprint for customers in other parts of the world (other top pineapple producing nations are Costa Rica and Brazil)

5. Comment on Another Post

I commented on “Sensor-Packed Pedestrian Crossing”

The article also discusses how this sensor-based crossing is envisioned to be integrated into the road. A responsive, sensor-based surface made of steel would be integrated under the regular road surface. On the top of these two layers of the road would be the LED lights, covered in a high-impact plastic to prevent damage from vehicles and weather.