This Week In Sustainability – Imagine Cup Sustainability Winner, China’s Energy Conservation and ‘Smart Cities’ in Africa

| Josh Henretig


Youth innovations in technology may have the power to make a real difference, writes Mashable. The article features five teams, including Germany’s Greenway team, who won the Coca-Cola Environmental Sustainability Award at this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup. Their mobile application and navigation system is used for calculating the best routes to use to prevent traffic and reduce CO2 emissions. Other projects include donating unused subway passes to charity, using an algorithm to promote gun safety, paint-on solar cells, and search-and-rescue robots.

clip_image002In global sustainability news, GreenBiz reports that China is spending $372 billion on energy conservation and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years. China is currently the world’s greatest emitter of greenhouse gases, responsible for 29 percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions in 2011. (The United States comes in at second.)China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is planning a 21 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2015. China is focusing particularly on green building projects to meet its energy efficiency plans.

IT News Africa published about efforts to build ‘smart cities’ in Africa in order to help local cities become more globally competitive. The story profiles Musa Nkosi, CEO of BWired in South Africa, who explained the importance of eco-friendly infrastructure and implementing information and communications technology. Ten percent saturation of broadband equates to one percent growth of GDP, according to Nkosi, which means that building smart cities is an important step to grow local economies. Africa is ready to implement smart city practices, including decentralized solar power that can be sold back into the grid, allowing the region to grow and become more competitive globally.

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