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Building sustainable cities 'critical for NZ's future'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Location-enabled technology may change the way Kiwis function in the future, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

As cities like Tâmaki Makaurau, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Ôtautahi, Tauranga, Ôtepoti and Kirikiriroa expand, leaders are considering sustainability as a key driver, he says.

"We are redefining what a city is and how we interact within it. With urban population growth, a pandemic, and a housing crisis to boot, it’s evident that our buildings, infrastructure, transport and resource management need to become more adaptable.

The rise in location-enabled tech such as augmented reality, space data and GeoAI could change the way we live in the future. Tech can play its part in building adaptable and sustainable cities, Muller says.

"LocationTechNZ, part of the NZTech alliance, will be holding a zoom meeting about sustainable cities later today (https://nztech.org.nz/event/the-future-of-building-sustainable-cities) to discuss various options and new concepts.

Alison Mackie, executive director of LocationTechNZ, says new location based technologies like digital twins will be key to helping New Zealand towns big and small deal with problems like traffic congestion, resource management and air pollution.

"Sustainability in towns and cities includes ensuring community safety and security; maintaining high quality of life for all residents; and establish a robust economic and environmental framework for continued settlement.

"There are examples around the world of digital tech creating faster, cleaner and more convenient commutes. In Israel, users enter their location and destination, and an algorithm calculates the most efficient journey, Mackie says.

"Public transport is then rerouted accordingly. The system was introduced to help fight covid, but if implemented permanently it's thought it could save $25 million a year.

"By 2050, it is estimated that almost 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, making the concept of sustainable communities an efficient resolution to the growing population.

"The world is seeing people innovating with location based technologies to help tackle challenges such as congestion and climate change. With an ever-increasing global population and rising urbanisation, creating safe, resilient and sustainable cities is right at the top of the agenda."

"Here in New Zealand we have seen the emergence of location based apps such as U Share, Link App and Parkable and designed to reduce congestion, enable car pooling and improve parking.

Auckland recently ranked 9th in the 2021 Global Smart City Index and Wellington ranked 7th in the 2021 Global Safe City Index.

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