A Green City Is a Smart City

With the right technologies in environmental care, metropolitan areas will become more environmentally friendly and furthermore can help their local authorities and businesses to cut costs.
Rapid urbanization is a challenge for cities and megacities all over the world and especially in the Lower Gulf Region. Between three quarters and over 90 percent of the region’s population already lives in cities and the numbers are rising. About 70 percent of greenhouse gases, two thirds of the energy consumed, and 60 percent of water consumption can be attributed to cities around the world.
Most crucial in the arid Middle East is an efficient water supply. As a matter of course a reliable and safe supply of water can only be achieved by purifying drinking water and by reusing waste water.
Facing further challenges arising from demographic changes and global warming cities are forced to improve their energy consumption and the efficiency of their infrastructures. Modern technology allows sustainable cities to improve the living conditions of their residents and furthermore become more environmentally friendly.
But what does it take in order to become a green city or a smart city? Sustainability seems to be the keyword. First of all cities and communities should optimize their infrastructure and provide modern and efficient services which are justified on the needs of their residents. Intelligent traffic control systems help to keep the traffic flow and can help to reduce emissions.
The implementation of modern technologies in buildings can save up to 60 per cent of the energy used in service and maintenance of buildings. In order to assess a building’s cost effectiveness it is necessary to take into account all the costs that will arise during its lifecycle. Savings are guaranteed and will finance associated measures and assure cost effectiveness in future. Moreover modern lighting in buildings is not only energy efficient but also creates a positive atmosphere which helps to improve living quality and enables effective and creative working.
The most important factor for energy efficiency in a green city is the right solution for the entire energy conversion chain, which starts at the efficient energy generation in combined gas and steam turbines and in solar power plants. A decisive factor for sustainable urban development is intelligent conservation of energy. This allows communities and businesses to be more productive while using less energy. In Abu Dhabi a combined power and desalination plant is capable of generating approximately 5000 megawatts of electricity and around 1.4 million cubic meters of drinking water per day.

Climate Change and the Animal Kingdom

The worst part about climate change is that it affects even those who are just innocent bystanders when it comes to degradation of the environment. Think about it: what do polar bears have to do with carbon emissions? Yet, when it comes to suffering the consequences of global warming and climate change, polar bears are on top of the list. Human beings all over the world are experiencing the effects of a changing climate.
There are worries that in some years’ time, the earth will no longer be able to support human habitation, thanks to the damage that has been done to the environment. What most people forget, however, is that already, there are some inhabitants of the planet going through the agony of losing their habitats and their ability to feed. These are the unlucky animals that have found themselves at the receiving end of climate change.
But, what does global warming have to do with animals, you may ask? The fact that global temperatures have risen and continue to rise means that polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. If you remember correctly, polar bears, seals and penguins live in the Arctic. If the polar ice caps are melting, it means these animals are losing their habitats. Since these animals cannot adapt to higher temperatures, losing their natural habitats means they will also lose their lives. It is estimated that in the near future, if nothing is done to remedy the climate change crisis, a lot of animal species will be facing extinction. It will be unfortunate if the earth loses these beautiful creatures on account of irresponsible human activity.
It is not just the polar bears and the seals that are feeling the threat to their natural environment. When human beings embark on the irresponsible act of deforestation, it destroys the natural habitat of animals such as birds and primates. Deforestation causes global warming, which now causes harmful effects to the very same animals whose habitat was destroyed.
Climate change also means the animals have to change their mating habits in order to be in sync with the climatic seasons. By extension, it also means that these animals have to migrate further and further away from the equator in search of more favorable conditions. As climate change occurs, birds are migrating later and later in the season.
When it comes to the animals that live in water, climate change has not shown any boundaries either. Underwater animals such as fish have global warming to blame for the changes that are taking place in their natural environment. With the oceans getting warmer and warmer, the coral reefs and the natural habitat of the fish is facing destruction. Also, with rising levels of carbon dioxide, there is increased acidity and this poses a direct threat to the fish. The acidity also damages the food chain and leads to death of fish.
It is unfortunate that animals have to suffer a fate that is not their making. Human beings should take considerable measures to ensure that the animal kingdom is not wiped out by climate change.