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This week, Fast Company Co.Exist published an infographic from HouseTrip and analyzed the green properties of six global cities with a reputation for sustainability—New York, Vancouver, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. The infographics provide detailed information on car ownership, green space, bicycle usage, solar installations, recycling, and water consumption. While these cities offer a variety of lifestyles and geographic location, there were some standout facts which highlight particular cities. Of note, Vancouver gets 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources, and 93 percent of Stockholm residents walk, bike, or take public transit to work. New York has the highest carbon emissions per person of the six cities, but it’s still significantly lower than the U.S. average thanks to its density and extensive public transportation network. As a result, it’s seen as a model for limiting carbon emissions in the U.S. Looking at the green practices of cities around the world provides a good window into how other urban areas in the world and can improve global green urbanization.
Smart meters are another part of reducing a city’s carbon footprint. A story in GreezBiz examined growth in the smart meter industry in Europe and Asia, particularly China, even as smart meter growth in North American has declined slightly. According to a Pike Research report, there will be 960 million smart meters globally by 2020. Smart meters are a great example of how ICT can help people and businesses reduce their energy usage. In fact, the article notes that smart meters across the globe do more than provide carbon reduction. In Latin America, utility companies use them to track power consumption, which can decrease electricity theft, and in China, smart meters have proven to help with a growing urban population as residents continue to leave rural villages for heavily populated cities. U.S.-based smart meter manufacturers are taking advantage of the growing international market by forming strong regional partnerships with government and utility entities. It’s another reminder that ICT will continue to have an important role to play in global sustainability and urbanization.