Could ‘smart cities’ save the oceans?


Could ‘smart cities’ save the oceans?

What is the impact of the coastal cities on the ocean, and how could the concept of smart cities help?

Forty percent of people are within 100km of the shoreline. Not coincidentally, the oceans are more polluted by the coasts. Of course, it is since most of the pollution reaches the oceans from land. Runoff and rivers carry most of the pollution into the ocean. A study published in May 2021 found that the plastic that floods the oceans arrives through more than a thousand rivers around the world.

Towards a smart city model 

A solution may lie in integrating urban coastal zones into Smart Cities programs. A smart city uses technology to facilitate mobility, improve social services, and, very importantly, is sustainable.

The main objectives of a smart city 

  • to improve the efficiency of its policies
  • reduce waste and pollutants as much as possible
  • promote social and economic quality 
  • develop renewable energies
  • maximize social inclusion

From smart cities to smart ocean cities

A Smart Ocean City would integrate the benefits already designed in the smart city model into the seas, spurring innovation in ocean remediation and restoration, and transforming seafronts from blighted industrial zones into clean and healthy public spaces full of amenities.

There is already evidence that Smart Ocean Cities stand to generate substantial economic benefits from cleaning up their oceanfront districts. Some companies help make this transition happen. 

Besides promoting renewable energies and becoming a global energy leader in Europe, Iberdrola promotes other campaigns such as a free online platform that offers information, tools, and good practices to enable town councils to move forward on their path to decarbonization.


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