SCP E110 Smarter and greener without over investing, with Chungha Cha

In this epsiode of the Smart Communtiy Podcast, Zoe has a fascinting conversation with Chungha Cha, the Co-founder and Chair of the Re-Imagining Cities Foundation. Zoe and Cha discuss his background in finance and how he became passionate about Smart Communities, plus some of the organisations he works with around the world. Cha tells us how he thinks Korea is currently embracing Smart concepts, projects he’s currently working on, and why accelerating Smart Communities is the most effective way to positively influence whole cities and regions. They discuss the gaps and the greenwashing that can exist between different disciplines, and some ideas for better integration. Zoe and Cha finish their chat discussing the emerging trend of overwhelm in the face of the urgent climate crisis, and why we need financial arguments, not just people- or planted-focused arguments, in order to achieve true sustainable solutions. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Cha’s background in finance and how he became passionate about Smart Cities
  • Some of the companies Cha works with around the world
  • What a Smart City is to Cha and why it’s so important
  • The 3 global challenges that Cha’s work focuses on
  • How Korea is currently embracing the Smart Community concept
  • Zoe’s experiences and thoughts on Korea’s opportunities and challenges with regards to Smart Cities, Smart Mobility and Sustainability
  • Why accelerating Smart Communities is the most effective way to positively influence whole cities and regions
  • The gaps and green washing that can exist between different disciplines in Smart City and sustainability collaborations
  • Projects Cha is working on right now, including Lakeview Village in Toronto
  • Cha’s work with Switch Automation to increase profitability, drive down greenhouse gases and make a healthier environment inside the building for the people
  • The emerging trend of overwhelm in the face of the urgent climate crisis
  • The need for the financial arguments (not just the people- or planet-focused) for sustainable solutions

 

Quotes:

“What are cities going to do about all the energy…all the water they’re going to be needing, a lot of waste that they’re going to be creating, traffic, pollution, affordable housing, education? These are all the challenge that cities face today because of this phenomenon of [rapid urbanisation].”

“There are places in the world like Copenhagen who are demonstrating that economic growth can continue its increase while their greenhouse gases are decreasing, so they’ve been successful in decoupling economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. We should try to apply that to all places in the world, right?”

“I think Korea is behind if we look at many places in Europe, the United States and even in Asia. Korea is a laggard in the Smart City space… [But] Korean companies do have a good chance of catching up in the race very quickly. We’re trying.”

“As soon as you’re monitoring these things [like levels of C02, BOCs], then you become aware and then you say ‘this is not acceptable, let’s do something about it’.”

“We have to integrate across disciplines, but we’re not doing that effectively. You need to have government and the private sector, and within the private sector you need some disciplines like architects, engineers and finance. They have the money, the know how and the skill sets.”

“We can’t [integrate] all over the world all at the same time…but we can create these little communities of better integrated platforms.”

 

Links:

Smart Cities Council based in Washington DC https://smartcitiescouncil.com/ 

Smart Cities Council ANZ https://anz.smartcitiescouncil.com/ 

GRESB Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark https://gresb.com/

Architecture 2030 https://architecture2030.org/

Switch Automation https://www.switchautomation.com/

MIPIM real estate conference https://www.mipim.com/ 

 

Connect:

Connect with Cha on LinkedInor via the Reminagining Cities Website

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

 

SCP E109 Evidence-based, adaptable and iterative approaches to planning and design, with Prugya Maini

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe has a great chat with Prugya Maini, an urban ist with a background in planning and design. Prugya tells us how evidence-based planning frameworks, or lack thereof, sparked her interest in the Smart City space, and why we need more adaptability and iterative approaches. Zoe and Prugya discuss how Australia is embracing Smart concepts, as well as the need for upskilling and knowledge sharing to address the current skills gaps. Prugya shares how important it is to speak with and actually listen to people from other disciplines, as well as the power of open mindedness and high trust, high respect environments for sparking innovation and creating integration. They finish their conversation discussing trends of accountability, adaptability and the relationship between failure and innovation. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Prugya’s background in planning and design, and her passion for how the built environment shapes people’s lives
  • How evidence-based planning frameworks sparked her interest in the Smart City space
  • What a Smart City is to Prugya and why it’s so important
  • Why we need more iterative approaches to planning and how we can be more adaptive
  • The ways Australia is embracing the Smart Community concept and how the conversation has progressed in recent times
  • How secondments across Councils could help share knowledge and address the shortage of Smart skills
  • The need for up-skilling to continue throughout a career, not only to remain relevant but also to help with collaboration and cooperating with others’ expertise
  • Why we should all be talking to people in different disciplines and listening to experts in other fields
  • The power of open mindedness and high trust, high respect environments for sparking innovation and fostering integration
  • The trends of accountability, adaptability and the relationship between failure and innovation

Quotes:

“My passion is the impact of our built environment on people and the way that our built environment shapes people’s lives for the better or worse, and provides them with opportunities to thrive.”

“Everyone has their own cards to bring to the table…[There’s a] wealth of knowledge that individuals bring from their own siloed background, but if we’re all at the same table, projects progress phenomenally in such a short amount of time once we’re all having that discussion.”

“If you don’t understand the opportunities at present then you’re always going to reject a proposal that goes beyond your scope of understanding.”

“I do think that the best integration that I’ve seen has come from clients that are open minded and are willing to listen to their consultants”

“How do you encourage innovation and experimentation without an openness to fail? At a small scale yes, but fail to some degree.”

“While I would like to see more accountability from the public sector, in terms fo adaptability I would also like to see more accountability from the private sector…and until you have those requirements sometimes things just don’t progress.”

Connect:

Connect with Prugya on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/prugya-maini-6a840393

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E108 Urban mining and the value of citizen thinking, with Abel Immaraj

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In this episode of the Smart Community podcast, Zoe has a fascinating conversation with Abel Immaraj, a consultant and hydraulic engineer with a background in natural resource management and national, state and local water reforms. In this episode, Zoe and Abel discuss the value of citizen thinking and the unintended consequences of individuals adopting technology without thinking of it as a community issue, as well as how he sees Australia embracing the Smart Community concepts. Abel tells us about the concept of urban mining and why the circular economy should always be in the same conversation as Smart Communities, as well as why the nexus of water, energy, waste and the land is so important. Zoe and Abel finish their conversation discussing the emerging trends of information poverty, the increasing complexity of the world, the bundling of service providers and how brokers are now becoming more common to help us navigate the increasing choices we have. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

 

Listen now:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Abel’s background in hydraulic engineering, natural resource management and advisory work
  • His passion for water and his interest in what makes communities sustainable
  • Why Smart Communities and citizen thinking is so important
  • The unintended consequences of individuals adopting Smart technology without thinking of it as a community issue
  • How Abel sees Australia is currently embracing the Smart Community concept
  • Why the Circular Economy should always be in the same conversation as the Smart Community
  • How important it is for us to understand how we’re connected through water and water enabled cycles
  • The nexus of water, energy, waste and the land
  • The capability we now have to create simulations and games to engage the community in questions around transitioning to new solutions
  • The way catalysts can foster integration and collaboration
  • The concept of urban mining and why it’s an opportunity
  • The emerging trend of information poverty and the increasing complexity of the world
  • The negative consequences of innovations and disruptions
  • The bundling of service providers and how brokers have emerged to help us navigate the increasing number of choices we have

 

Quotes:

“All the systems on this planet function because of the water cycle. So it’s the host to life and it also connects us from the past well into the future…I’m passionate about learning about water but also how water changes life, how it makes it liveable on this planet.”

“Smart Community now globally has at its foundation the nexus between water, energy and land. That nexus is so important because the water inputs and outputs and the energy inputs and outputs, are somewhat interchangeable…This nexus between these three things is the most important thing that Smart Community needs to be thinking about. “

“More and more people now have communities that are global. They’re part of tribes that are planetary and global, rather than just thinking about that neighbour who is right next door.”

“A Smart Community is not just about today, but it’s also about tomorrow. If we go in for better technology today, have we thought about the end of life issues with batteries? That’s the sort of question that makes it really interesting.”

“Done well, using logistics and Smart Technology, Brisbane should be seen as an urban mine, where companies know where to go for [paper, plastics, aluminium]…We should be able to have a circular economy with that.”

“It’s really good when schools get involved in these sorts of projects [like Containers for Change] because these kids in Year 7 now, in 10 years time they’re going to be the movers and shakers. And when they get these foundational skills…we’re able to keep that transition planning going.”

“We need to be conscious that in a technology-driven solution, we have the ability to check for the unintended consequences.”

 

Links:

The “Cash for Cans” or Containers for Change initiative in Brisbane

The Circular Experiment is the initiative on the Sunshine Coast run by the Morris sisters. Zoe interviewed Ashleigh Morris in Episode 55 of the Smart Community Podcast

 

Connect:

Connect with Abel via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E107 Considering the impacts of emerging technologies on all members of a Smart Community, with Samson Williams

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe has an interesting chat with Samson Williams, Principal Consultant at Axes and Eggs, a thinktank and digital advisor on emerging technologies. Samson shares a bit about his work at Axes and Eggs, and why his background in anthropology sparked his interest in Smart Communities. He also has a really interesting perspective on how the US is embracing Smart concepts, and shares about the problem of food deserts, financial deserts, and 3G being a luxury. Zoe and Samson finish their conversation discussing the emerging trends of the millennial generation becoming policy and decision makers, and the negative health impacts of technology making life more convenient.

You will hear that this episode was recorded before Zoe left on her Churchill Fellowship, and she is talking about her trip to the US in the future, but it’s now actually in the past, and you can hear Zoe’s wrap up of each stage of her trip on her special podcast about her Churchill Fellowship. It’s available exclusively to people who support the Smart Community Podcast on Pozible. Zoe’s trip is still ongoing, but you can hear about Zoe’s visits to Orlando and Denver, among other places, by going to Pozible.com searching for My Smart Community and hit Support.

Now, on with the episode, and as always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Samson’s work at Axes and Eggs, and why he’s passionate about the intersection of emerging technology with culture and community
  • Why wifi is becoming a human right
  • How Samson’s background in Anthropology sparked his interest in the concept of Smart Cities and Smart Communities
  • Why Smart concepts are so important as we face the impacts of climate change
  • How the US is embracing Smart concepts, and the problem of food, financial and wifi deserts
  • Three projects Axes and Eggs is currently working on
  • What’s needed to better integrate across disciplines, governments and industries
  • The emerging trends of data privacy, the millennial generation becoming policy and decision makers and the negative health impacts of technology making life more convenient

Quotes:

“As your government transitions to everything digital you can create at risk and marginalised communities if they can’t access your government services because they’ve gone digital. So wifi becomes a human right.”

“Civilisation is cities, so when we talk about how people will interact and build cities of the future we look at historically…how people came together to build their cities, because it’s basically how do we want to collaborate to live in close proximity to each other? That’s always very interesting, and technology is just going to change the way we do it.”

“A Smart City is one that’s connected, easily walkable, that’s accessible to everyone, not just people who can’t afford it. Because your city’s not that Smart if it just creates new barriers to accessing basic government services as well as quality of life.”

“All integration starts with a conversation. We don’t have the diplomats or the ambassadors as we used ot have, that are just cross functionally sharing ideas, lessons learned…we just need to have those frank and honest conversations.”

[On Leapfrogging into Obesity]

“Whenever there’s a digital transformation you also get a waist-size transformation because when you leapfrog with technology, the technology brings a level of sedentary lifestyle, and with that new sedentary lifestyle people just get fatter.”

Connect:

Connect with Samson on LinkedIn or on other social media @hustlefundbaby or find Axes and Eggs on socials @axesandeggs

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E106 Hype, Substance, Technology and Humanity, with Vitor Pereira

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe speaks with Vitor Pereira, the cofounder and Director of Zoom Smart Cities. Zoe and Vitor discuss his background in journalism and in interest in technology, and how being involved in tourism and events sparked his interest in the Smart Community space. Vitor explains why the ability to reflect and receive criticism is crucial for any Smart City, and gives the example of Amsterdam’s rebrand over the last 10 years. He goes on to tell us how Portugal is embracing Smart concepts and some of the projects he’s involved in, including Zoom Global Smart City Association. Vitor and Zoe then discuss the need to cut through the hype and find the substance in a noisy, saturated Smart City market as well as why we need to break down silos and foster integration in order to tackle the urgent and important decisions humanity is facing right now. They finish their conversation discussing the emerging trends of ethics and transparency when it comes to technology, as well as getting back to the heart and soul of a city, which is humans. Now, a quick warning, there are a few audio glitches in this episode but it’s very listenable overall. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Vitor’s background in journalism and his interest in technology
  • How being involved in tourism and events sparked his interest in the Smart Community space
  • Why the ability to reflect and receive criticism is crucial for any Smart City, and why the concept is so important
  • How Amsterdam rebranded themselves over the last 10 years
  • Cutting through the hype and finding the substance in a noisy, saturated Smart City market
  • Projects Vitor is involved in, including Zoom Smart Cities
  • How Portugal is embracing Smart concepts
  • Breaking down silos and fostering integration so we can make the urgent and important decisions facing humanity
  • The emerging trends of ethics and transparency when it comes to technology
  • The importance of getting back to the heart and soul of a city, which is humans

Quotes:

“Normally a technology-driven mentality only sees the bits, zeroes and codes, and it takes away the values like human values, like people being in love, friendship etc. They strip off the sentimental part of the process.”

“Any city can be smart or stupid simultaneously. And the definition for one or another, I believe, comes from a variety of sources with different interests.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to compete in this world where image, empty words or staging [become] so powerful for marketing. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t fit very well for the real results that we need for our future, and that we need for our cities.”

“I believe one of the things that is missing in Cities and Communities is leadership: leaderships and courage [to make the hard] decisions that need to be taken right now to tackle climate change, to tackle poverty, to tackle affordable housing, to tackle unemployment… It will take courage to take these decisions.”

Contact:

Connect with Vitor on social media @vitorpereira or via email vitor@zoomsmartcities.com

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E105 Next Generation Infrastructure and a Zero Carbon Future, with Lisa McLean

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe has a really interesting chat with Lisa McLean, CEO of the Open Cities Alliance. Lisa covers her passion for Next Generation Infrastructure, what that is, and why Smart Community or Next Gen thinking is so important. Zoe and Lisa discuss how Lisa sees Australia embracing Smart Concepts and some of the projects Lisa is currently working on, as well as what Open Cities does. They then talk about the convergence of utilities like water, waste and energy that used to be separate but that are now becoming more interconnected, and the power of aggregating voices to move government policy, breakdown silos and improve integration. Zoe and Lisa finish their chat discussing the emerging trends of the new utility model and the circular economy, as well as “prosumers” and why we need new business models in the future. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Lisa’s background in political journalism and global Zero Carbon economy campaigns, and her passion for Next Gen Infrastructure
  • What sparked Lisa’s interest in Smart Concepts and what a Smart Community is to her
  • What the ‘Next Gen Infrastructure’ terminology means
  • Why Lisa believes Smart Community and Next Generation concepts are so important
  • The problem of microplastics as one example of the ways the ‘throwaway’ society we live in isn’t working
  • The role of government in moving to Next Generation thinking, not just infrastructure
  • How Lisa sees Australia embracing Smart Concepts, and why local it’s time for dinosaur thinking to stop
  • Projects Lisa is working on at the moment, including a ‘Five Steps to Next Gen Infrastructure’ playbook for local councils
  • What Open Cities is and does, and their ethos
  • The convergence of utilities that used to be separate (water, waste, energy)
  • The power of aggregating voices to move government policy, breakdown silos and improve integration
  • The emerging trends of the new utility model and the circular economy
  • ‘Prosumers’ and the different business model thinking that is needed for the future

Quotes:

“We’re all about opening up our markets to more sustainable businesses, recycling of water and waste, local energy generation, shared mobility and electrification of our mobility, all those essential services. Open Cities is looking to get away from the business as usual and all the things we’ve been doing in the past. We want to open up our markets to that future.”

“For us a Smart Community is a community that can generate its own water and energy. It’s a community that is self-sufficient, and can head towards climate positive, which is beyond Zero Carbon, where they can actually have excess water and energy, and it’s a community that also can pay less for its utility bills.”

“We use the term ‘Next Gen Infrastructure’, because it’s just new ways of doing things, instead of us living in this linear society… Next Gen Infrastructure is water recycling infrastructure that you can keep at a precinct scale or in a home. Next Gen Infrastructure is solar—we’ve got enough solar force to provide everybody with free energy…Shared mobility is another example, and autonomous vehicles as well.”

“In this Next Gen Infrastructure space, the utilities are actually converging. Water is energy, waste is energy too, and we’re looking at how we can use water at a precinct scale to provide heating and cooling [or] use solar spill to provide energy for EVs. How can we look at all these different utility sectors? How do they converge at a precinct scale to create better solutions for people that are sustainable?”

“[The trend of prosumers] is our own ability to get free energy from the sun, to use it ourselves as a consumer, and then to produce it and sell it.”

Connect:

Connect with Lisa via the Open Cities website or email Lisa@opencities.net.au or call 0488 068 777

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E104 When immediate needs drive Smart Community thinking, with Ricardo Van Loenen

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe has a fascinating conversation with Ricardo Van Loenen, the CEO and co-Founder of B. Building Business in Amsterdam. As this episode goes live Zoe will be in Amsterdam as part of her Churchill Fellowship, and if you want to hear all about her trip, remember to head to Pozible.com to get access to her special podcast all about what she’s learning on her Fellowship. It’s available exclusively to supporters so head to Pozible.com now, search My Smart Community, and hit support to get access to those bonus podcast episodes. 

In this episode, Ricardo tells us about B Building Business, the startup ecosystem turned Smart City Hub he has been a part of creating in Amsterdam and how it has really sparked his interest in the Smart Community Space. Zoe and Ricardo discuss how the Netherlands is embracing Smart concepts, and the power of having an immediate need driving innovation and investment. Ricardo shares some of the projects he’s been working on and why governments and corporations can and should work together to build the city of the future. They finish their chat discussing the emerging trends of education, inclusivity and diversity being more important than technology when building Smart Communities. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Ricardo’s background in marketing and his passion for connecting people to solve problems together
  • How working on B Building Business sparked his interest in the Smart Community space 
  • What a Smart City is and why Ricardo feels it’s so important
  • How the Netherlands is embracing Smart Concepts
  • The problems of overflows of water, and too many tourists and cyclists in Amsterdam
  • The power of having immediate needs driving innovation and investment in Smart solutions to new and old problems
  • The Smart City Hub project that Ricardo is working on currently
  • Ricardo’s experience with integrating across multiple disciplines, governments and industries
  • Why governments and corporations can and should work together building the city of the future
  • The emerging trends of education, inclusivity and diversity being more important than technology when building Smart Communities

Quotes:

“I don’t think you are a Smart City if you have wifi in the city, I think a Smart City goes more back [to] how to do you do the distribution, logistics, how can you make it in a way that you’re self-sustainable, taking all the big challenges and put it into positives.? An important part of a Smart City are Smart people. How do you involve a society within the city and give everybody enough rights and possibilities to grow?”

“Going back to how cities started, I think we created a lot of problems ourselves. If you take all the food production out of the areas where people live, you create a lot of logistics problems. With the new technology you will be able to produce food in high density areas… Now you can do affordable indoor farming and it’s working perfectly.”

“The funny thing is we now have traffic jams with cyclists in the city, so that’s a problem…[Cycling is] a common Dutch thing, so it’s hard to change something if it’s already working.”

“If you don’t really need to innovate because the problem is not high enough, there’s not enough eagerness to do so. If you need to change things, it will be done much quicker than if the need isn’t [immediate] or people don’t see it.”

“You can design your own self-driving car but if you can’t drive it on the public roads you really have nothing, so it’s really important to work closely together on designing the city of the future. The governments don’t have the money for it, the corporations don’t have the regulations for it, so let’s put this together and work together.”

Links:

B. Building Business https://b-buildingbusiness.com/ 

Smart Hub https://b-buildingbusiness.com/smartcityhub/

Picnic https://picnic.app/

An article about the Picnic App – grocery delivery using electric cars in Amsterdam https://www.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-grocery-internet/startup-picnic-runs-grocery-delivery-bus-in-dutch-online-shopping-boom-idUSKCN1LZ244

Connect:

Connect with Ricardo via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community 

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.