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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds What will the city of the future look like? Nobody has the perfect answer, but we already know what will not happen. We do not foresee a dirty and noisy city, but people interacting at different levels (neighbours, other citizens, administration, companies, …), mostly through digital channels, buildings producing their own energy and streets with electric vehicles.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds The City Operation System It is necessary for managing and increasing the flow of data at the city level, such as sensors and other information-gathering systems, including human communications, then analyzing it to build models that integrate all city subsystems in an unique and simple interface and providing operators a complete strategic overview of the city’s status, to finally achieve a smart communication system with citizens. The City OS provides views, alerts and work-flows for governance and control of the city. A comprehensive view for taking informed decisions in a day-to-day basis, as well as in emergency situations. The City OS has to provide high standards of cyber-security for a reliable and robust exchange of information. Interconnectivity and interoperability.

Skip to 1 minute and 33 seconds The interconnection, via the Internet, of computing devices embedded in every object within a city, would represent the nodes for the infrastructure of an information society. The Internet of Things allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefits along with reduced human intervention. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system, but able to interoperate within the existing Internet network.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds Open cities. An open-source city is a decentralized development model that encourages open collaboration among citizens and peer-production of products, such as source code, 3D printable products, food production, documentation, among others, based on a free license and universal access. Its implementation would eliminate some of the access costs of consumers and creators of derivative works to create enormous value for the whole community.

Skip to 2 minutes and 45 seconds Energy is one of the main drivers of transformation for cities. High penetration of renewables changes the way in which buildings are designed. But also, the districts can integrate and aggregate distributed energy resources, from generation (photovoltaic, biomass…) to storage at different levels (house, building, district…). Furthermore, smart homes will manage the energy consumption according to certain agreements between the client and the operator. All of those distributed resources together can interact with the regional electric system providing flexibility to balance consumption and generation. Actually, a new package of European Directives on energy, called “Clean energy for all Europeans”, aims to develop the figure of the Aggregator to handle this.

Skip to 3 minutes and 32 seconds As a consequence, new business models from a peer-to-peer energy exchange between neighbours, and different investment strategies involving both the public and the private sector could arise.

Skip to 3 minutes and 45 seconds Mobility. Mobility within the city is becoming one of the main drivers of the energy transition. Besides the Co2 emissions and other pollutants, such as NOx and other solid particles, are affecting the health of the citizens. Cities without dirty cars is no longer science fiction, but a reality in most European cities. As a consequence of this change, public and shared transport makes more available public space for other social uses. Technologies such as the electric vehicle and self-driving cars are the main actors of the transportation revolution. Regarding the mobility between cities, intermodal systems based on the combination of different transport systems are gaining importance in the city planning.

Skip to 4 minutes and 33 seconds Urban planning has the responsibility of designing public spaces and their use, buildings and neighbourhoods. A smart urban planning should assess the orientation of the streets and districts to maximize the use of solar energy, the flow of Grey water and mobility, as well as to ensure the interaction between citizens through its design, thus keeping cities alive.

Skip to 4 minutes and 58 seconds E-governance. The city of the future will deliver government services, exchange information, communication transactions, and other services through information and communication technologies. This will enable a more convenient, efficient and transparent interaction between the citizens, the government, businesses and other interest groups.

Skip to 5 minutes and 20 seconds Collaborative economies. New horizontal networks within a city will be able to provide whatever citizens need from each other, without having to resort to large organizations. It consists in a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources, and is based on the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services in a great variety of sectors. It also provides new opportunities to people and to innovative entrepreneurs.

Skip to 5 minutes and 52 seconds Circular economy of materials: Since resources are scarce and their transportation across the world is highly demanding in terms of energy, local communities in cities and regions are promoting the reduction of waste generation and its re-use as a raw material for new processes. This provides multiple economic opportunities, creates local jobs and makes citizens more aware of the impact of their way of life.

Skip to 6 minutes and 22 seconds Cities are facing a huge transformation. The city of the future is not only a set of new opportunities based on a technology-driven forecast. It is also a matter of deep transformation of the economic and social relationships among the different players in a city. All these transformations also create tensions with the existing market operators, from electric utilities to taxis, for instance. But the key element that defines the city of the future is, by all means, the citizen in its broadest sense.

The city of the future

What will the city of the future look like? Professor Pep Salas envisions something very different from what Blade Runner depicted. The new city’s paradigm is defined by growing people interactions through digital channels, living in buildings that produce their own energy and streets filled with electric vehicles.

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Smart Grids for Smart Cities: Towards Zero Emissions

EIT InnoEnergy