Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If the city only had a brain ... Oh, wait, it does!

Posted By on Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 10:50 AM

You didn't think I was taking about Charlotte, did you? Bahaha. Gotcha.

No, I'm referring to an eco-city in Portugal. Learn more from New Scientist:

If today's cities were living things, they would be monsters, guilty of guzzling 75 percent of the world's natural resources consumed each year.

Now a more benign urban creature is set to emerge. The planned city of PlanIT Valley, on the outskirts of Paredes in northern Portugal (see map), is aiming to be an environmentally sustainable city. And, just like an organism, it will have a brain: a central computer that regulates everything from its water use to energy consumption.

Like other sustainable cities, PlanIT Valley will treat its own water and tap renewable energy. Buildings will also have plant-covered roofs, which will reduce local temperature through evapotranspiration, as well as absorbing rainwater and pollutants.

Yet that is where the similarities with other eco-cities end, according to its makers Living PlanIT based in Paredes. For a start, PlanIT Valley will be built closer to existing transport links than the likes of Masdar. More significantly, its "brain" will use data collected from a network of sensors akin to a nervous system to control the city's power generation, water and waste treatment (see "Brains and nervous system"). It's a kind of "urban metabolism", says Steven Lewis, chief executive of Living PlanIT.

Read the entire article here.

Other environmental articles in the news:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. Additionally, she's on the steering committee for the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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