The pace of change in our increasingly digital and complex world is very apparent in America’s cities. Orlando is a great example of how changes in travel, housing, work and living can make existing problems worse as well as create entirely new ones. But, change also brings opportunity, and that's where innovation happens.
About a decade ago, Orlando launched a sustainability program that gives area residents recycling options and the ability to use alternative energy like solar power. Now Orlando, along with other U.S. cities, is leading national and global efforts to reduce harmful emissions . The city is also managing an evolving transit landscape that now includes ridesharing, bike-sharing and scooter-sharing. In Lake Nona and Downtown Orlando Smart Homes, autonomous vehicles and delivery drones are wowing residents and visitors.
Siemens USA recently hosted an Orlando event called Spotlight on Innovation—what does it take to be a future-ready city? They believe that being future-ready means embracing Smart City, Smart Home and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies.
In April, Orlando announced a new smart city focus to better leverage technology and private-sector expertise. The new Smart ORL department expands the city’s long-standing efforts to champion sustainable initiatives. In the last year, Orlando has reduced GHG emissions by 18 percent. Orlando was also the first city in Florida to pass a building benchmarking, energy audit, and transparency policy that requires more than 1,000 buildings to monitor and report their energy and water use annually.
One of the first major projects Orlando’s smart city department will focus its attention on is furthering its GHG reduction efforts by pursuing a 90% emissions reduction target by the year 2040.
Siemens is a key partner in that initiative. Over the course of the past year, using Siemens City Performance Tool, the City of Orlando’s Office of Sustainability & Resilience and Office of Smart Cities, Orlando Utilities Commission and Siemens have worked together to analyze what infrastructure technologies are needed in order to achieve the Orlando’s 2040 sustainability goals.
Key findings of this exercise will now become an important tool to help Orlando’s city planners leverage technology in the areas of renewable energy, transportation and building technology in order to meet the ambitious 90 x 2040 goal.