When we talk about urban development in the year 2023, one of the relevant points is sustainability. That is the changes that are made to continue to preserve: the environment, human development, and the well-being of the inhabitants. These are ideas that PG & Associates share.
Within sustainability, we can think of alternative energies as a viable solution to the pollution generated by urbanism and development itself. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development highlighted the importance of a holistic approach to urban development. This approach is also found in the main ideas of PG & Associates.
Urban growth is increasing, and for the first time in history, the population in urban areas exceeds fifty percent. However, studies say this trend will continue, and by 2050 we could reach seventy percent.
Next, we will talk about sustainable urban development and list some of the renewable energies from this point of view.
Sustainability is a term that is growing in popularity every day. In these terms, urban development must be resilient and achieve environmental protection and the use of renewable energy in parallel.
Sustainability in this area significantly impacts planning. More specifically, we must be intelligent and innovative in using clean energy when using construction techniques. For this, we can have support from data sciences and artificial intelligence.
Consequently, sustainable development is essential for social progress and economic growth since it improves the quality of life, generates jobs, and facilitates access to resources and services.
Therefore, to achieve this goal, we need the interaction between governments and companies, which dictate the use of these energies in the exploration and treatment of land, construction, transportation, and the dynamics of urbanism to be developed.
Renewable energies in urban development
Cities are the largest energy consumers; they represent eighty percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Thus, one of the challenges of urban development is to bet on using alternative energies to reduce these conditions that threaten life.
However, energy consumption and gas emissions depend directly on the design of cities and the exploitation of renewable energies presented below.
Our Sun powers approximately 620 million metric tons of hydrogen every second. This releases enormous amounts of energy in the form of waves and particles. This energy can be captured and transformed into electricity.
It is essential to highlight that this energy generated by the Sun is higher than the one the world demands today. Furthermore, it could be the key to creating resilient urbanism.
Professionals in the area have worked hard in recent years, preparing materials on the legal framework and planning to implement approaches, methods, and tools that lead to better urban development.
Movement brings kinetic energy, so we use the wind to move the blades of a turbine that are attached to a rotor. This rotor then turns a generator that produces electricity. Lastly, this electricity travels to a transformer to adjust voltage levels.
Generally, the considerable size of the generating turbines has made it difficult in terms of infrastructure to take advantage of the wind in urban areas. However, they can be assembled in rural areas to transport electricity from electrical networks to cities.
Bearing a resemblance to what was previously stated, here we use the movement of water so that some turbines convert this potential energy into electricity. In short, this is done by storing water and then conducting it to the turbines located in a lower area.
In cities worldwide, gallons of water flowing at high pressures through aqueducts are wasted. Hydroelectric technologies are being explored and installed in pipelines to take advantage of this. The parties involved in urban development want to harness this energy and use it wisely.
Companies like Rentricity, New York-based, are one of many companies working on a system consisting of a reverse pump, generator, and controls that can be installed in treatment plants and underground vaults of wastewater systems. This is water that goes directly to the neighborhoods.
Ocean waves produce tidal energy. Special generators are used to convert these waves into electricity. This is a minimally exploited field since the energy produced with this method has been minimal and, to a certain point, insignificant to the current demand.
Certain conditions must be met to implement this type of energy in cities. Urban planning must be located near the sea, and the waves must be perfect.
Hydrogen energy involves using hydrogen or hydrogen-containing compounds to generate other energies.
If the interest is on the fuel side, this is the best option since hydrogen is a clean fuel that produces only water, unlike fossil fuels that generate carbon dioxide when consumed in a cell.
In urban development, specifically in transportation, companies like Amazon are investing in hydrogen-fueled cells, motivated by the pollution generated by hydrocarbons and the exploitation of lithium.