8 Amazing Sustainable Solutions for Urban Spaces

While city living has its perks, having a green environment around you is definitely not one of them. Traffic, pollution and lack of greenery are just some of the sustainability issues urban spaces face every day. However, that’s about to change. Here are some of the most innovative solutions for cities that might change their carbon footprint. 

Easy and dynamic parking

Parking has always been an issue in the city, but organizations like SFpark are having none of that. They create a smart parking management system that creates dynamic parking pricing that will make parking easier for city dwellers of San Francisco. The mission of this project is to reduce circle time and parking demand by giving real-time information about available parking. In order to better manage parking availability, reduce double parking and circle time, meter prices get periodically adjusted. 


In order to boost greenery and the sense of community in an urban environment, some cities are creating so-called parklets. Parklets are parking spaces converted into small public parks with benches and greenery where people can rest and hang out. Additionally, these tiny parks reduce street-side parking and discourage people from driving in the city while adding a great aesthetic highlight to streets and areas. 


Many cities critically lack housing, especially the affordable kind, while also having plenty of buildings wasting away completely empty. Well, the city of London decided to create a sustainable city development in King’s Cross. During the retrofitting process, cultural heritage was given priority, so all the buildings will be reused in a way that protects cultural diversity and the city’s history. Other cities with the same issue can follow London and create attractive neighborhoods without disturbing the aesthetics of the area and creating unnecessary waste.  

Smart lighting

Smart lighting

Thanks to SmartCity management solutions, today we can have smart lighting that helps reduce energy consumption while providing illumination for all the most critical spots in the city: busy streets, metros, train stations, intersections…Thanks to new and long lasting LED products, cities can reduce their energy consumption and maintenance costs while allowing citizens to feel safe exploring the streets during the night. Some models can be integrated into SmartCity solutions like presence control and daylight sensors which additionally reduce energy waste and light pollution and facilitate people and vehicle flow.

Breathable concrete

Unfortunately, concrete covers a large portion of any city, almost its entire area. This can become a huge issue when it rains. Since water cannot reach groundwater systems, it escapes into waterways polluting them with all sorts of surface contaminants. But, with pervious pavements, we can have concrete areas that allow rainwater to filter through and reach groundwater. This system also reduces irrigation needs since greenery can directly access necessary rainwater. Additionally, this breathable concrete is just as durable as regular concrete and it even eliminates the need for curb and gutter installation. 

Wall gardens

While rooftop gardens are still popular, the future of green design lies in wall gardens. Thanks to advancements in hydroponics, many public spaces can safely turn their facades into living walls. The Taj Hotel in London and Vertical Forest in Milan are just some of the examples of this new trend. While wall gardens are certainly pretty, their primary role is to create their own microclimate, reduce heat, boost humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles and produce oxygen, all of which improve air quality in busy cities. 

Foot traffic electricity

Can you imagine the power foot traffic in busy city areas creates every second? Well, the idea behind foot traffic electricity is to install tiles sensitive to movement which can harvest kinetic energy and use it to produce electricity. This is a great way to use the renewable energy of human movement and reduce the need for polluting plants. Foot traffic electricity tiles have already been installed in some airports and shopping malls and they can power hallways and even some offices. And if you’re worried about durability, some research centers report that they had machines pushing on foot traffic electricity tiles non-stop for years in order to ensure longevity and minimal maintenance needs. 

Bicycle and pedestrian bridges

These bridges are designed to provide non-car users to freely move through the city, avoiding all car traffic. They can be very well-designed with efficiency and aesthetics in mind. Also, they encourage people to opt for bicycles rather than cars, reduce congestions and give people an efficient and stress-free way to go from A to B in a big urban environment. Bike and pedestrian bridges also highlight healthy living and fitness. Places like Denmark are already in love with this type of infrastructure, but other countries are soon to follow. 
With these innovations, the future of our cities certainly looks green. While it will take time for technology to get better and more affordable, these baby steps in the right directions should definitely not be neglected. If we all choose to compromise a little and adopt these sustainable technologies, the future generations can expect utopian instead of dystopian future. 

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