Songdo: Tri-bowl in Jungang Park

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Smart technology is transforming new and existing metropolitan environments around the world. Here are seven examples of the smart city revolution...

1 Songdo's innovative designs are to create an improved environmental habitat for residents in South Korea. The city-wide waste disposal system extracts waste directly from kitchens through a network of tunnels: it's sent directly to waste-processing centres, where it is automatically sorted and deodorised. Songdo's aim is to convert its household waste into renewable energy.

2 Amsterdam has partnered with Philips, Cisco, and IBM to become part of the international top sustainable cities in 2040. One initiative is transforming Utrechtsestraat (Climate Street) by implementing a range of smart projects such as smart meter and energy displays, which measure and display energy consumption, and smart plugs, which automatically dim or shut down unused appliances and lights. Solar-powered BigBelly waste bins with built-in rubbish compactors track and record how much waste is in the bins.

3 Dubai's Smart City project is an initiative intended to provide wireless Internet access across the city and provide real-time information to the public and private services. Downtown Dubai already offers free Wi-Fi across the 3.5km-long Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard.

4 IBM has been contracted by Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation to create smart cities across six states across India, by transforming current transport, energy, and waste management systems into sustainable ones. The corridor connects Delhi and Mumbai, and will monitor energy consumption, water quality, traffic flow and public safety.

5 San Francisco's department of environment plans to decrease the city's carbon footprint and achieve zero waste by 2020. Cars and trucks are responsible for 40 per cent of San Francisco's carbon emissions. SF Environment is urging for smart commuting, electric transportation and biofuels recourses. The city uses ChargePoint, which has provided 110 public electric vehicle charging stations.

6 Birmingham, UK, is aiming to reduce carbon emissions to meet the city's 60 per cent reduction target by 2027. As part of the strategy, the 'Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstration' project (2009-2012) involved 100 electric vehicles. Birmingham has now partnered with Plugged-In Midlands to install a network of 18 electric vehicle charge points around the city.

7 Chengdu in China is one of the cities participating in IBM's Smarter City Challenge, with the focus on food safety, education, telecommunications and cloud-based public services.

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