Forward thinking innovators working in sectors such as property and logistics are aiming to make urban areas in the UK both more sustainable and human-friendly spaces.
Buildings and motor vehicles have become fundamental parts of the modern metropolis – and both are among the largest contributors to global carbon emissions, followed by the need for heat and power and the continuing dependence on combustion engines. The good news is that sustainability concerns are at the forefront of many initiatives to shape the cities of the future.
Research suggests that organisations that make year-on-year reductions can achieve benefits ranging from efficiency gains and cost savings to an enhanced ability to attract and retain the most talented people.
There has also been evidence that healthy outdoor spaces contribute to residents’ wellbeing, by having communities at the heart of future developments, there is great potential for society such as cleaner air and creating an environment where residents are not just staring at hard surfaces.
Underground Transport as the Future?
Construction is not the only sector that is developing innovative solutions to tackle climate change. For example, in Oxfordshire they have collaborated with an AI software firm on a system to support connected and autonomous vehicles.
As cities adopt electric buses, tram systems, micro-mobility services or other shared transport modes, having control of how these mechanisms are used for the benefit of citizens and commuters is becoming more important.
Consumer demand and legislation is driving the development for greener transport and logistics systems. For example, the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned in the UK from 2030. But when it comes to the movement of goods, there is an alternative to electric vehicles. A firm in London are developing a zero-emissions underground delivery network that claims to reduce the need for HGVs.
According to the firm, the network does not rely on battery power and when connected to a renewable energy source, can deliver goods without releasing any emissions. This process will at the same time then remove the need for vehicles and reduce congestion in the area.
Human-Centric Cities of the Future
Although tackling climate change is clearly a priority, much of the sustainable development occurring in cities goes beyond the pressures to reduce carbon emissions. Innovators see their work as a chance to reshape places to create togetherness.
Sustainable cities should not just be about being better for the planet – although it should be – but it should be better for people living and working in them too. With more and more exciting developments, there is so much to look forward to within UK cities. It is an exciting time of innovation and action, with a goal of a cleaner, healthier planet within our reach.
Mark Richardson, Partner at BB&J Commercial commented “recently, we have been investing in our business to improve our contributions to the environment. We have changed all the lighting in our building to LED lightbulbs, which has made the rooms appear a lot brighter now. In the long term, we will be cutting our costs by 25%, reducing our carbon emissions and will need to replace the bulbs less often. We hope to continue this positive contribution to the environment moving forward.”