Leading the way in smart cities

  • 16/11/2018
  • 1 min reading time
Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) Barcelona
Foto: Smart City Expo World Congress

La feria Smart City, líder en desarrollo urbano sostenible, ha acogido la presentación de la investigación sobre sostenibilidad urbana de la Cátedra UNESCO ESCI-UPF. Este evento trabaja para crear ciudades eficientes, inclusivas y sostenibles, en línea con el trabajo realizado en ESCI-UPF.

From 13 to 15th November, Barcelona (Spain) hosted the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC). This event was meant to empower cities and collectivize urban innovation across the globe by promoting innovation, establishing partnerships and identifying business opportunities.

Current initiatives from circular cities such as Rotterdam or Barcelona were presented at the pitch session ‘Solution Talks: The Circular City Lens.’ As a part of this session, Jaume Albertí, researcher and leader of the sustainable construction line at the UNESCO Chair ESCI-UPF, proposed a common basis for working on a sustainability performance indicator, with a life cycle perspective and environmental, social and economic information, aiming at facilitating the comparison and benchmarking of results among cities: “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of cities with a sustainability perspective.”

According to the researcher, the built environment has been defined by multilateral bodies and the scientific community worldwide as a major world contributor to climate change and environmental impacts, accounting for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. After the Paris Agreement, cities have been placed on the spot of both environmental problems and solutions. At the same time, LCA methodology has been demonstrated to be a good tool for the diagnosis of potential environmental impacts. However, there have not been any developments in LCA yet to adapt it to contribute to the sustainability of cities.

Therefore, Albertí showed the attendees how LCA could be applied to cities according to a recent study by researchers at the Chair and the École des Mines de Saint-Étienne (France), published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. “By performing LCA, city-level decision makers will be able to quantify all environmental, social and economic impacts induced by the city’s activities throughout its life cycle. Furthermore, the environmental burden hotspots are provided by this method to increase the effectiveness of the policies and decisions to be taken to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” explains Albertí.

This initiative forms part of the tyLCA Project at the Chair, whose next step is to apply this suggested method to a set of pilot cases of study. In this context, “the SCEWC provided us with a unique opportunity to welcome new actors, allowing us to mobilize cities willing to join the project,” highlights Albertí.

The congress hosted more than 18,700 attendees, 700 cities, 675 exhibitors, and 400 speakers.

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