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Smart Sustainable Cities: An Integrated Planning Approach towards Sustainable Urban Energy Systems, India

Authors: Adinarayanane Ramamurthy, Monsingh D. Devadas


Cities denote instantaneously a challenge and an opportunity for climate change policy. Cities are the place where most energy services are needed because urbanization is closely linked to high population densities and concentration of economic activities and production (Urban energy demand). Consequently, it is critical to explain about the role of cities within the world-s energy systems and its correlation with the climate change issue. With more than half of the world-s population already living in urban areas, and that percentage expected to rise to 75 per cent by 2050, it is clear that the path to sustainable development must pass through cities. Cities expanding in size and population pose increased challenges to the environment, of which energy is part as a natural resource, and to the quality of life. Nowadays, most cities have already understood the importance of sustainability, both at their local scale as in terms of their contribution to sustainability at higher geographical scales. It requires the perception of a city as a complex and dynamic ecosystem, an open system, or cluster of systems, where the energy as well as the other natural resources is transformed to satisfy the needs of the different urban activities. In fact, buildings and transportation generally represent most of cities direct energy demand, i.e., between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the overall consumption. Buildings, both residential and services are usually influenced by the local physical and social conditions. In terms of transport, the energy demand is also strongly linked with the specific characteristics of a city (urban mobility).The concept of a “smart city" builds on statistics as seven key axes of a city-s success in moving towards common platform (brain nerve)of sustainable urban energy systems. With the aforesaid knowledge, the authors have suggested a frame work to role of cities, as energy actors for smart city management. The authors have discusses the potential elements needed for energy in smart cities and also identified potential energy actions and relevant barriers. Furthermore, three levels of city smartness in cities actions to overcome market /institutional failures with a local approach are distinguished. The authors have made an attempt to conceive and implement concepts of city smartness by adopting the city or local government as nerve center through an integrated planning approach. Finally, concluding with recommendations for the organization of the Smart Sustainable Cities for positive changes of urban India.

Keywords: Urbanization, Urban Energy Demand, Sustainable Urban Energy Systems, Integrated Planning Approach, Smart Sustainable City.

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