Asia's Most Sustainable Cities:
The Sustainable Cities Index provides an insight of the top 10 (out of an overview of 50) sustainable cities each year. Their performance rankings were in relation to the factors of the people, planet, and profit - the three pillars of the triple bottom line. Although Europe dominated the top ten overall rankings, holding seven out of ten places, there were three Asian cities that held an impressive implementation of effective environmental policies. These three cities were: Singapore ranking No. 10, Hong Kong ranking No. 8, and lastly Seoul ranking No. 7. Seoul being the most impressive.
A "Ubiquitous City":
I considered Seoul, South Korea the most impressive because of its damaged past. Over the past 60 years, South Korea has grown from a war-torn nation to a major world power becoming the 13th largest economy in terms of GDP. This is even more impressive considering the fact that its population consists of 50 million. With this rapid economic growth and with over 25.6 million people concentrated in the metropolitan area of Seoul, Seoul faces the same problems as large cities, including detrimental impact on the environment. As many would think, Seoul was now torn between two very different choices, an improved quality of life OR helping the environment.
This is where it gets interesting. South Korean forward-thinkers looked upon the idea of a ubiquitous city in order to build Songdo. This city lies near the Seoul airport and has a future projected population of two million. It will successfully sustain an underground system of tubes for disposing waste, integrated sensor networks, green buildings, and universal broadband!
The idea was to make a city that is present everywhere. This feat was to be done utilizing technology. Seoul is a world leader in terms of digital governance and open data, including a large high-speed internet network. In a ubiquitous city the free flow of data would allow citizens to comprehend their cumulative impact on the environment, as well as the best steps to take in order to decrease their negative effects.
By improving information technology infrastructure, urban citizens can mold and construct their lifestyles in a more environmentally friendly manner. An example of this is action is the Personal Travel Assistance system, which delivers real-time information of the public transportation network such as carbon emission and other green transportation options.
In the future, we all look forward to the flourishing of the "city of the future."
To read more about the other two most sustainable cities in Asia click here!