With some of the fastest growing urban environments in the world, Africa is facing a number of challenges in relation to sustainable urban development. It is expected that by 2030 Africa will have 760 million urban residents – almost double living in the entire western hemisphere today. Worryingly, that number is supposed to increase to a staggering 1.2 billion by 2050. As more people flock to urban areas, demand for efficient and sustainable urban infrastructure, i.e. energy, transportation, water and healthcare, is booming.
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Worldwide almost 75 percent of energy consumption, 60 percent of the water consumption and 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to cities. The combined effect of urbanisation, climate change and demographic change is pushing cities towards ensuring their infrastructures are more efficient. Utilising innovative technological solutions, cities can both increase the quality of life for their residents, while also cutting costs and becoming more sustainable in the process.
Through its environmental portfolio, Siemens has become an international leader in sustainable city development. Its longstanding expertise and studies, conducted with renowned partners, have resulted in innovative infrastructure concepts with sustainable solutions for building security, energy distribution, water infrastructure, traffic, safety and healthcare.
Commissioned by Siemens, and conducted by independent research organisation Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the African Green City Index showcases just how sustainable the continents cities are today.
Another of Siemens numerous initiatives is the Sustainable African Cities Tour, a travelling exhibition and though leadership event which aims to promote interactive discourse among various stakeholders in city management as well as members of the public.
The company also has the Siemens Urban Sustainability Centre (The Crystal) scheduled to open in London this summer. The centre will be a showcase of green technologies and sustainable urban development, from mayors and city officials, to planners and the general public.
The Crystal: www.thecrystal.org
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