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Living in the City of the Future_90min

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LIVING IN THE CITY OF THE FUTURE

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“Smart cities” are networked cities. In smart cities, many areas of public life are interconnected: health and education, traffic and transportation systems, municipal authorities and much more. This interconnectedness not only opens up new possibilities for mobility, but also for more participation in society.
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A higher quality of life, less traffic jams and considerably more time – at first glance this sounds promising. But smart cities also bring new challenges with them. Read the case studies on the following pages and form your own impression
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Paul lives in a smart city in which, among other things, almost all areas of life are networked with the authorities. A “social credit point system” indicates how exemplary he is as a citizen. Good behavior (e.g. donating for a good cause) is rewarded, bad behavior (e.g. driving too fast) is penalized by deducting points. The consequence: if Paul's score is too low, for example, he receives significantly worse credit from banks and may have to fear for his job.  

What sounds like something from a film to us, is unthinkable in Germany. In Rongcheng, a city on the coast of China, it is reality.


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Thea lives in a smart house. In it, the fridge, pantry and co. are networked with her smartphone. Just now her garbage can reported that four milk cartons have already been thrown away. It offers to order more milk. And while Thea is still thinking about this, she receives the next notification: the toilet paper holder reports that the roll is running out. In addition, Thea's fork just teamed up with her belt to point out that she has been eating too much and too fast. Well, at least Thea is informed.
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Smart lighting systems

A lighting system that adapts to your needs and mood? This is possible, for example, with smart lighting system from “Philipps Hue”. If the lighting is linked to the stereo system, the lighting automatically adapts to the sound and rhythm of the music.

Video surveillance

Smart video surveillance systems transfer the camera images of your home directly to the cloud - an online storage space that only you can access. With the help of a corresponding application (e.g. “Arlo” or “Bosch Smart Home”) for your smartphone, you can make sure that everything is all right at home – on holiday and at work.

Smart plant irrigation

Sensors for temperature or humidity make everyday life smarter. Your plants will, for example, indicate when they have not been watered properly by displaying a light signal and thus, help you to maintain them. For those who like it even smarter, the intelligent "Smart Gardener" irrigation system could be an option. It waters gardens independently, as needed. This is also possible from holiday via app control.

Intelligent language assistants

Intelligent language assistants are enjoying increasing popularity. Whether “Siri”, “Alexa” or “Google Assistant” – when used correctly, they can make everyday life easier. The assistants are connected to various devices – e.g. telephone, lighting or television. Commands can then be conveniently given via voice control – e.g. “Hello Magenta! Call Anna.”

Intelligent window and roller shutter systems

Window and roller shutter systems can be remote controlled using sensors and apps. Here is an example: When the sun shines, the roller shutters automatically open so that the warmth can enter the home. When it's dark or stormy, the shutters automatically close. This saves energy and makes your home safer.

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Home offices save time, resources and the environment. Modern technologies such as video telephony or virtual reality and a good network infrastructure make it possible to communicate with superiors and colleagues. And if you have to meet in person, there are fewer cars on the road - because more people work from home. 

A recent study by Bitkom Research has shown: approximately 30% of all employees occasionally work from home. But unlike in the office, working at home is often less regulated. When do you take a break? When do you stop working for the day? The boundaries between work and leisure are becoming increasingly blurred.




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Sustainable infrastructure, intelligent bridges and apps that navigate you to the nearest free parking space: All of this makes traffic in the city smart. In order to make the cityscape “greener”, there are already numerous concepts.  

One example is the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Back in 2009, plans were published to turn Copenhagen into a CO2-neutral capital by 2025. To this end, the city is promoting ideas and concepts about water, energy and mobility - including the Carlsberg beverage brand, which is completely converting beverage production to renewable energies. 

On the following pages you can see concrete examples of how buildings can contribute to greater sustainability in smart cities.
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For many people, going to an administrative office is an unpleasant task. Often, they have to deal with long waiting times and unpractical opening hours.

With the help of modern “digital administrations”, the concerns of citizens can be dealt with independently of time and location in the future. An online portal can be used to make complaints or inquiries – e.g. changing your place of residency or applying for child benefits – and to safely exchange data between public authorities. However, not only services can be provided more efficiently. A smart administration should also encourage interaction between citizens and the administration itself and increase participation.







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THE CITY OF THE FUTURE

A smart city can only become reality if the people in the city are actively involved. So it is your turn now! How would you design your city of the future? What means of transport are there in your city? What does the city look like?

Keep scrolling and decide for yourself!

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SCENARIO 1A

Cars are not important in this city anymore. Its flexible and sustainable public transportation concept allows fast and comfortable travel from A to B – without traffic jams or air pollution.  

This also eliminates the annoying search for a parking space in dense city traffic. Car-free zones provide more space for green and leisure areas. The air quality and quality of its citizens’ lives improve.
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SCENARIO 1B

Hours of waiting at the bus stop for a bus that is too late or the frustrating announcement at the train station: “This train has been cancelled.” These things could soon be a thing of the past in your smart city. In it, you travel in autonomous electronic cars that conveniently transport you from A to B in comfort. 

Vienna is already leading the way – by 2050, all private means of transport will move about the city without using conventional fuel engines.
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SCENARIO 2A

The buildings in this city are “green”. That means: They were planned and built to be sustainable and energy efficient. For example, integrated green areas or modern insulation solutions ensure sustainable construction concepts and more environmental protection.  

An example for this is the Convention Center in Vancouver. Its roof is completely covered with grass, making it a “green building” in the truest sense of the word.
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Approximately 220 kilograms of waste are produced per capita in Germany. Much of the waste does not decompose by itself – and ends up on the roadside, in rivers or in the sea. But what should we do with the mountains of trash from the city of the future?
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SCENARIO 2B

Your city shines in new splendor, but with the old, original facades. The traditional cityscape is preserved and the buildings in it are renovated and rebuilt to meet the requirements of a smart city.  

The city of Prague is an excellent example of this and shows how such a concept can actually be implemented today. The historic buildings in Prague’s city center are gradually being converted into smart buildings.
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Approximately 220 kilograms of waste are produced per capita in Germany. Much of the waste does not decompose by itself – and ends up on the roadside, in rivers or in the sea. But what should we do with the mountains of trash from the city of the future?
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SCENARIO 3A

“Zero waste” is a lifestyle with the goal of not producing any more waste. Unlike recycling, waste is completely avoided. People who live according to the principle of “zero waste” deliberately avoid packaging and plastic – e.g. plastic bags, plastic toothbrushes or coffee-to-go cups.  For many people, “zero waste” is the solution to our garbage problems.

For this reason, ideas such as food sharing or shops without packaging are becoming increasingly popular. Food sharing becomes much easier with apps like “Too Good To Go” or “ResQ”. The special thing about them: Not only users can offer and exchange food with each other, but also restaurants and shops. The network consumes what is otherwise thrown away.
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Your trip to the city of the future ends here. In this module you have learned about new technologies and concepts for smart cities. Pay attention to which of these aspects might be implemented right outside your own front door. And stay tuned to see what the future has in store for your city. 

Further information can be found in the download section.

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SCENARIO 3B

Packaging is sorted by material, cleaned in a plant and then reused - not a bad idea in itself. However, only about 50% of all plastic waste is recycled. In addition, not all plastics can be reused forever. 

Science and industry are addressing the topic and are already working on environmentally friendly new materials – e.g. alternative packaging made of mushrooms or algae. One thing is certain: The city of the future’s garbage problem requires new ideas and concepts for recycling.






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Your trip to the city of the future ends here. In this module you have learned about new technologies and concepts for smart cities. Pay attention to which of these aspects might be implemented right outside your own front door. And stay tuned to see what the future has in store for your city. 

Further information can be found in the download section.

Goto first page
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