Smart cities are held up as beacons of hope in meeting the climate crisis. This is because they reduce greenhouse gas emissions by paring back energy use and urban waste. But is it possible the high-tech complexity of smart cities actually leaves urban dwellers more exposed to future climate disaster?Smart cities’ dependence on the information and communications technology (ICT) systems that help generate these emission reductions may actually be opening up new climate vulnerabilities, when we consider what happens if these systems fail. There is a danger that we fall into the trap of assuming that a reliance on increasingly high-tech solutions is our “get out of jail free” card for everything. We need to think more about whether our increasing reliance on interconnected information-based technology includes adequate fails safes to protect against systematic collapse if cities are hit by outside stresses – including climate-induced shocks. A number of experts working in the field of urban climate adaptation believe this issue is not receiving adequate attention. Considering that about 55 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities, and this figure is projected to rise to seven out of 10 people by 2050, we ignore this issue at our possible peril. The definition of what actually makes a smart city is not clear cut. There is general agreement though that they share an ability to combine real time data and digital technology to improve people’s decisions on when to use energy and when to move around, while also contributing…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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