by Jodi Summers
Smart cities are not one size fits all. Sure, the smart-cities movement could benefit from frameworks that allow a common language to develop amongst citizens, city staff, mayors, and the private sector, but at the moment, our CalGreen is as wide sweeping a municipal code.
But, we know what we’re doing. Here 3 examples of other world cities with smart plans.
Bravo to Copenhagen’s efforts to promote and prioritize bicycling. In 1981, the city developed its first cycling plan and it has been evolving its cycling and mixed-modal goals since 2002.
But the Danes were already ahead of the curve on transportation smart thought. Copenhagen has been measuring cycling and mixed modal use for decades. Now the city has a target indicator: to achieve 50% of all trips to work or school by bike by 2015. The city has been making significant progress towards this goal, having already achieved 37% in 2009. Copenhagen collaborated with MIT to create the Copenhagen Wheel. Though it looks like an ordinary bicycle wheel with an oversized center, the hybrid’s bright red hub is a veritable Swiss army knife’s worth of electronic gadgets and novel real-time functions. This revolutionary new bicycle wheel not only boosts power, but has sensors that can keep track of friends, fitness, smog and traffic in real time.
Vancouver Mayor Robertson and his Greenest City Action Team engaged 30,000+ citizens in a process designed to establish a 2020 goal for the city. The city used “social media and digital technologies to spark citizen-led public-engagement activities like kitchen table discussions at private homes, online discussion forums and workshops at community centers,” according to Straight.com. The result is the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, which has set a clear goal for the city to become the greenest in the world by 2020. (Isn’t that Santa Monica’ goal too?)
Toronto recently announced a pilot charging station program at a cost of $65,000 to the city. Councilor Mike Layton recognizes the benefits of this small-scale action: “We all know that this is the direction that singular vehicle transport is going in,” said Layton in the National Post. “Why we wouldn’t at least try out something at very limited cost to the city, to get ready for the revolution that is going to happen, is beyond me.”