With the United Nations reporting that the world’s population reached 8 billion in 2022 – with over half that population living in urban areas – having sustainable, smart cities is critical. Many cities are not ready for rapid development or urbanization and have no or aging infrastructure. This leads to water problems, such as low pressure, and other infrastructure concerns. In this two-part blog series, we will take you on a journey of using ASTERRA solutions in the making of smart cities.
Where many cities are not ready for the rapid rise of population and development that is occurring around the world, ASTERRA brings satellite-based solutions which are increasingly adopted to develop these smart cities. Smart city solutions use advanced technologies to create more sustainable urban living that is inclusive, safe, resilient, and environmentally friendly. Smart cities support United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11) for Sustainable Cities and Communities, which aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
ASTERRA’s suite of solutions collectively support the objectives of SDG 11 by generally promoting sustainable and resilient cities and communities, efficient resource management, and the safety of urban populations. It aligns with every target of SDG 11.
ASTERRA is a technology solution that uses data from satellite-based radar, its own patented algorithms, and artificial intelligence to locate points of interest such as water leaks, subsurface moisture, or other natural resources, all without environmental destruction. ASTERRA accomplishes this at least three times faster than they could be found using traditional methods. In doing so, ASTERRA saves water and prevents catastrophic accidents and disasters.
Our solutions contributing to SDG 11
Recover ensures water sustainability within urban areas. By detecting leaks in water distribution systems, it significantly reduces non-revenue water and water loss. Since producing clean water requires energy, ASTERRA solutions increase the potable water supply while saving energy. This yields more efficient water resource management within cities, ensuring a more reliable and sustainable water supply which is critical in urban areas.
EarthWorks is particularly helpful to cities and communities located in regions prone to landslides and geological hazards or near mining facilities or dams and levees. By providing early warning and infrastructure risk assessment based on underground soil moisture data, EarthWorks contributes to ensuring the safety of local populations.
MasterPlan ensures strategic planning for pipeline infrastructure, especially in urban settings. By enabling municipalities and utility providers to assess and manage their pipeline networks proactively, MasterPlan supports resilient and efficient water systems, ensuring that cities have robust infrastructure in place, ready to meet the demands of growing urban populations.
How we support the targets
While ASTERRA solutions support every target of SDG 11, we highlight a few because they are tied to proven successes using ASTERRA solutions while promoting inclusivity, safety, resilience, and sustainability. ASTERRA creates inclusive, resilient, safe communities and improves access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services (such as water and improved wastewater exfiltration detection).
SDG 11 targets safety, including efforts to “provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities, and older persons.” ASTERRA EarthWorks infrastructure solution was used by National Highways in the UK to create safer roads and to resolve roadway issues without significant disruption in the traffic flow. A smart city is using technology to improve the flow of traffic and make it safer by mitigating risks due to failing infrastructure.
Another target of SDG 11 is to significantly reduce the number of deaths and people affected and substantially decrease the economic losses caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations. ASTERRA is used in many urban regions in places such as Brazil and Italy as a smart technology-based solution for monitoring infrastructure to ensure that it is functioning properly and will do its job to avert disaster.
ASTERRA accomplishes these targets and more at the same time as it achieves another target of SDG 11, to reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities and it substantially increases the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement… holistic disaster risk management at all levels.
There are many positive changes and outcomes which have resulted from the initiatives of SDG 11. The leaders within urban communities are realizing the swift ROI associated with using solutions such as ASTERRA, and that the cost is minimal compared to the benefits. ASTERRA’s EO Discover platform makes it easy to have the ROI, along with the energy savings and water savings available in real time. There are an increasing number of smart cities, where the community is safer, has reliable water, and is better able to withstand a natural disaster or economic downturn.
Sustainable development simply cannot be achieved without transforming how urban spaces are built and managed. Look for Part 2 for how urban resilience is being redefined and smart cities are leading the way for a new future for our children and grandchildren.